If we’re going to get all panicked about Opioid deaths (not that we shouldn’t care about the human misery behind the numbers), then there are at least a few other causes of death for profit that we ought to be taking a closer look at.
Maybe we should be trying to find ways to keep the predator industries behind these deaths, hiding safe and secure in their glass towers and zealously protected by our government, from making quite so much money off of the slaughter of Americans.
2016 – deaths from Cannabis (source: DEA) = 0
2016 – deaths from all Opioids (prescription & street) = @ 59,000 people
2016 – deaths from prescription Opioids alone = @ 33,000 people
2016 – deaths from lung cancer (we all know why) = @ 158,000 people
2016 – total deaths from cigarettes (cancers, heart disease, etc.) = 340,000 people
2015 – deaths from Hospital-acquired infections = @ 99,000 people
2015 – deaths from obesity-related causes (including industrial food) = @ 300,000 people
2016 – deaths from gunshot, all causes – @ 33,000 people
2015 – deaths from alcohol, disease only (non-traffic) = 88,000 people
As I glance through these causes of death, what strikes me is that every one of them involves big American corporations or powerful American institutions making lots of money. And laughing at us. We know they are. And we know why. They figure they are invulnerable.
When I was a child I moved around the world with my military family, always traveling by ship in the days before aircraft could cross oceans. I would spend hours on deck writing messages, sealing them with candle wax in bottles I snagged from somewhere on board, and then consigning them to the sea knowing in my heart that they were on their way to someone, somewhere who would read them. Sometime replies arrived at my grandparents’ house years later, and they would forward them to me wherever I was living. From these contacts I developed pen-pals who I stayed in touch with for many years. I was fortunate to develop, very early in my life, a sense of the network that invisibly but seamlessly connects us all. Thank you for picking up this message in a bottle, dear reader. We are here together.