Defining “Choice” — The Impending Genocide of American Opioid Users
Nobody chooses to be a drug addict, but everyone must make their own choices. Language is tricky. Not only must we choose, we even have to make our own individual errors if we’re going to grow objective knowledge. Creativity is a miraculous event which always takes place in the mind of a single person, initially. We strive to get closer to the truth, but we can never reach universal agreement as a society — so we must err on the side of maximizing individual choice and responsibility in order to maximize freedom. Sadly, we’re abandoning this definition of “choice” in our nation — even when it comes to personal health. We have political leaders who are spreading false information for personal gain. Taking away the ability for an individual to make their own health choices means erasing their liberty. They are no longer human.
Chronic pain patients are not drug addicts, although both groups are opioid users. People in pain have tried every option recommended, and they’ve had many treatments forced upon them. They’re not stupid, on average. They do not initially choose to take opioids for fun, but in order to function. Many of them will commit suicide before they resort to injecting illicit drugs. Many others will remain silent and suffer out of the same kind of ignorance that led to “witch” burning long ago and prevents them from obtaining medication today. Anyone who isn’t lazy (like most reporters today) can analyze the CDC’s statistics online and see that drug addicts are dying in larger numbers because of drug criminalization. Still more of them are dying because of the incessant mass marketing of a fake crisis related to prescription drugs.
The increase in overdose deaths are being caused by illicit fentanyl sold as heroin (or as hydrocodone in the case of Prince’s death). “Cracking down” on pill mills, which I supported in Florida in 2010, also fueled the sale of black-market opioids. This should have been expected. I thought our leaders knew when to stop, but clearly I was wrong. I was wrong to accept the poor care being provided to chronic pain patients. I was wrong to support the shortcuts taken by government to shut down pill mills. I may have been wrong to support the entire prescribing system, which has evolved into a murder weapon. To date, the pill mill operators have been far less culpable for wrongdoing than our own political leaders and the lobbyists whose pockets they inhabit.
Drugs need to be decriminalized. Individual Americans need to take back their liberty.
We tend to elect politicians who fail to understand simple conservative principles: individual choice and responsibility should be maximized, and government force should be limited. Individual people are unique, and no other person or group can infallibly feel the pain of another. The risk of using a drug recreationally is extremely small for most people. The public’s fear of “getting addicted” is irrational, and we have leaders who are actively feeding this fear. When overreaching government policy attempts to preemptively eliminate an individual mistake — like using a drug recreationally for example — all of the people who use the drug for beneficial purposes will obviously suffer. It’s a balance. Competent Americans who rely on using an excessively restricted drug to function will then be forced to make another choice among a smaller range of possibilities:
- Rot in pain, unable to function.
- Turn to the black market.
- Commit suicide.
Why are chronic pain patients arbitrarily being tossed out of their doctors’ offices without medication, even after years or decades of beneficial opioid use? Why have people in pain been treated like lepers at the pharmacy — even people with cancer (like two of my own family members) over the past few years? Why do many pain patients lash out at drug addicts, blaming them for their predicament? Why do so many people repeat the mindless sentiment “The drug addicts are ruining it for everybody” (this partially answers the previous question)? Why is the treatment of pain in our nation considered to be so poor at the same time opioids are being demonized, even with the lesson of Prohibition etched in our history?
The answer is the same for every one of those questions: drug criminalization. More specifically, the problem is the false notion that drugs must be criminalized because allowing individual people in a free society easy access to a substance that can do harm to uneducated people (even if it can also substantially benefit everyone) will result in the mass destruction of our moral fabric. This is not only complete nonsense, but the truth is that our moral fiber is undermined by arbitrary government policy, and not by a risk of rampant drug use. Most Americans still believe the false idea that addiction can spread like a virus. In fact, addiction is being called a disease, which is only partially true.
Today, the prescription system in the United States is being used effectively as a means of opioid Prohibition. Doctors and pharmacists are being illegally used as a law enforcement tool by the DEA. Unfortunately, the DEA selects criminals at random using illegal databases of innocent patients and arbitrary treatment guidelines recommended by the CDC. At the same time the DEA detaches themselves from any decision they make which culminates in the destruction of lives. People are being treated as averages of averages. Economically disadvantaged people, minority groups, introverts, women, disabled veterans, and elderly folks are being discriminated against because they don’t know the right people. Who is the real criminal in this fake epidemic?
Government leaders, researchers, doctors, and clueless modern-liberal journalists are aggressively spreading fear every single day about an imaginary moral panic connected to prescribed opioids. Prescribing and deaths related to legally marketed opioids have been on the decline for many years, but it seems there’s a lot of money yet to be made in the shady rehab industry, and also by promoting one drug over another. I cringe every time I see an emotional plea about “saving” drug addicts, wondering how many more injured veterans or elderly neighbors will have to die to pretend to “save” others in this anti-American war on drugs — as long as we don’t mind culling the weakest members of our species.
After years of “cracking down” on doctors, pharmacies, and pain patients in Florida statistics show overdoses are rising fast. Incredibly, the leaders who cracked down are still crying “epidemic.” So not only are pain patients being harmed and committing suicide, but the policy to “combat opioid abuse” is killing more drug addicts as well. People in each of these two groups suffer and die for the same reason: they no longer have safer individual choices to make themselves. Those better choices have been taken away by government via a Marxist level of control.
Prejudice arises the moment drugs are criminalized, because a bizarre question straight out of the Soviet Union era must be asked: “Who deserves pain relief?” The campaign to “destigmatize” drug addicts won’t work as long as we’re battling against drugs. Instead, chronic pain patients will be treated like drug addicts, which is exactly what’s happening. In other words, the problem is made worse by bad policy as soon as policy becomes excessive, which happened around 2014 with the rescheduling of hydrocodone. Are we going to allow our out-of-control politicians to go so far that we create an American version of Russia’s “krokodil”?
Government promotes the problem they claim they’re fighting. Criminalizing drugs will become a genocide if leaders in other states and the federal government follow Florida’s drug policy as a template. Drug cartels will start using even more powerful drugs than fentanyl, to avoid interdiction. If enough people benefit from it, enacting Prohibition to target a specific drug (or drug class) opens up an illicit market. More generally, allowing the federal government to fight a “battle” against the personal use of any substance which can be used beneficially by competent people should be considered unConstitutional.
Nobody chooses to be a chronic pain patient, but every competent American deserves the ultimate right to use any legally manufactured drug they want if they believe it benefits them, as long as they’re not affecting other people in a negative way. If a local community wants to ban opioids (or boats or umbrellas), that’s fine. The federal government can’t, legally, because there are no gods who can make better choices about the health of an individual American than the individual herself. Why have we allowed special interests and corrupt politicians who capitalize on faux empathy to poison the true meaning of “equality” and “choice” in the minds of the average citizen? Why are the vast majority of journalists helping them spread false statistics and memes?
Input from doctors is crucial to helping individuals gain knowledge about their condition, but doctors are also fallible. They aren’t experts in deciding what works to resolve another person’s pain. A prescription should not be required for opioid pain relief as long as a single member of Congress is able to obtain an opioid outside of a hospital when a single pain patient cannot, although I admit there are better/safer drugs to market for moderate pain than others (for example). If restrictions are unavoidable, buprenorphine should be much more widely available, but hydrocodone should not be Schedule II and currently out of reach for many people. The absurdity of rescheduling hydrocodone merely because it became the most widely prescribed drug in the nation is tough to convey in words.
Allowing government to prosecute doctors whenever they feel like “too much” medication has been prescribed is wrong, and in America we’re not even stopping there. Many attorneys general are using the DEA to intimidate doctors in advance, because they’re in the process of suing drug manufacturers. While the lawsuits may be legitimate based on marketing techniques used in the 1980’s and 90's, the constant public demonization of legal opioids is not “saving” drug addicts. The link being sold between prescribing and overdose deaths is intentionally misleading. Whether or not free will exists, an individual choice among different available possibilities must be made. Big Pharma may have marketed drugs inappropriately, but people who take opioids for pain do not “get addicted” in the manner currently implied by those seeking to destroy lives for personal gain. Our leaders are responsible for the bigger lie (and bigger crime) than drug companies. Besides, government heavily regulates these companies.
Criminalizing the personal use of drugs only serves to create crime. It causes death and suffering. Billions of dollars are wasted every year demonizing opioids using false statistics and hyperbole. We know why Prohibition was wrong, which is why we don’t say the public has “too much” accessibility to alcohol — because it’s wrong to use excessive force to take away the personal choice for individuals. Alcohol kills more people, and we should treat narcotics similarly even if there’s an initial uptick in average overdose deaths. People like Governor Chris Christie insincerely claim they want to remove the negative stigma of drug addiction, and their support of drug criminalization and extreme prescribing restrictions promotes bigotry, arrogance, and elitism. Governor Christie’s own addiction kills many times the number of people who die on average from drug abuse every year. People like Representative Steve Scalise can get pain relief using opioids, while many injured veterans, elderly people, cancer patients, and others cannot. Governor Christie ignores his own addiction while lording over opioid users. It’s time for this criminal abuse of opioid users by authoritarian Marxists within our own government to end.
Many people who become involved in a discussion about drugs, after making all of the standard prejudicial statements intended to subtly insult chronic pain patients, drug addicts, or both will eventually say “Oh, chronic pain patients should certainly be able to get their medication.” These ignorant people (I guess about 75% of the American population) don’t comprehend the inherent absurdity of such an unfair question. Who decides who can access opioids, now that even doctors are afraid to do it and individual patients can’t? There’s a bias inherent in supporting a system in which any person or group is allowed to make this very personal choice for any competent individual.
Chronic pain patients and addicts should be able to get reliably manufactured medication that keeps them alive? Gee, thanks. But they can’t, thanks to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Governor Christie, and every other public leader, professional, intellectual, and journalist spearheading and marketing the national rollout of this despicable impending genocide. The mushroom cloud is already forming, and growing fast.