The CDC and the Drug War

Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Not only are people using heroin, they are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013.  States play a central role in prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts for this growing epidemic.

States can:

-Address the strongest risk factor for heroin addiction: addiction to prescription opioid painkillers…

“CDC Vital Signs links science, policy, and communications with the intent of communicating a call-to-action for the public.”

The CDC’s current issue (July 7th) of Vital Signs covers the following topics:

Cardiovascular Diseases
Food Safety
Healthcare-associated Infections
Motor Vehicle Safety
Prescription Drug Overdoses
Today’s Heroin Epidemic
Teen Pregnancy
Other (Hispanic Health, Adults with Disabilities, Hepatitis C, Child Injury, and Asthma in the U.S.)

As I have shown over and over again, there are more than double the amount of deaths from suicide and guns than from opioids. Do you see these two topics on this list?  Do they not deserve a “call-to-action”?  Not if you’re advocating for the drug war instead of the issues that are killing more people.

Hey, CDC:  Shame on you!

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