I know my average reader is typically in his or her Third Age of life. But we all have children and grandchildren, or we know friends who have. So it’s a message that concerns EVERYONE.
And I have a VERY IMPORTANT message—a major contribution to knowledge—that could make a pivotal difference to these ongoing tragic deaths. I’ll explain in a moment.
The shocking truth is that young people in the USA alone have lost more than 1 million cumulative years of life due to unintentional drug overdoses. That’s in just the short space of 5 years: from 2015 to 2019.
According to a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics, by O. Trent Hall, DO, and colleagues at Ohio State University, over this 5-year period, nearly 22,000 people aged 10 to 24 years died of unintentional drug overdose.
That correlated to a total of 1.23 million years of life lost (YLL) for young people, with annual YLL ranging from 212,000 to 274,000. Remember, that’s just the USA. Multiply the figures upwards for the rest of the world and add those in; you’ll realize that is a HORRIBLE waste of life potential.
“Unintentional drug overdose has become a grave and sustained public health burden in the U.S.,” the researchers wrote. Total unintentional drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 from April 2020 to April 2021, a 28% increase from the previous 12-month period, according to the CDC.
That increase would be directly due to the COVID crisis, which we all know has caused appalling damage to mental health across the globe.
“??Unintentional drug overdose represents an unacceptable mortality burden for this vulnerable population. All of these deaths were preventable,” according to the researchers. [https://www.medpagetoday.com/psychiatry/addictions/96948]
“The death of a young person isn’t a single event. It is a tragedy that unfolds over a lifetime,” Hall said. “Counting years of life lost tells a more complete story of what it means to lose so many young lives.”
Dr. Hall and colleagues found 21,689 deaths from unintentional drug overdose among those ages 10 to 24, and these deaths were more common in males compared with females (71.9% vs 28.1%). The mean age at death was 17.6 for the entire group and 15.1 for adolescents (aged 10-19) specifically.
Their suggestion was that the figures could be a significant UNDER-estimate of the problem.
“We hope our report will raise awareness of the increasingly dire consequences of unintentional drug overdose among this vulnerable population,” stated co-author Julie Teater, MD, also of OSU, in a press release. “Our study provides important context to the overdose crisis by better representing what it means to society when we lose adolescents and young people to unintentional drug overdose.”
I have important answers to WHY people die of drug overdoses. I’ve written about it before and will write about it again. Here’s what I know. PLEASE SHARE IT AS WIDELY AS YOU CAN…
The problem is that people do not understand how drugs are de-toxed by the body. Authorities on the whole don’t know either—but because they REFUSE to help addicts, just jail them, they are killing people by enforcing ignorance.
See, if you are addicted to heroin (for example), you soon find that you need more and more of it to get the same fix—which really means the same degree of release from the horrible withdrawal symptoms. Addicts can end up on 100 mg or more, which would kill you and me stone dead in minutes.
But the addict can tolerate these big doses, because the liver has created extra enzymes to deal with the intake. It’s a mechanism called enzyme induction.
So far so good. But then the addict tries to go straight. He or she manages a few weeks, maybe even months, of being “clean”. So what happens? THE LIVER STOPS MAKING THE NECESSARY EXTRA ENZYMES! This is crucial… and lethal.
The addict finally gives in, goes back to the drug, shoots themselves up and drops dead within minutes. They can’t deal with it. THEY MUST ALL BE EDUCATED TO GO BACK TO THE 5 MG MAXIMUM “SAFE” DOSE. Of course they will gradually increase their “fix” over time. But the liver is kept in the loop and knows how to detoxify this deadly substance.
There’s a second way in which this mechanism plays out in a deadly fashion.
Drug dealers are all crooks, by definition. They care nothing for human life and are not stained with the slightest speck of personal integrity.
Many of them take to “cutting” the drugs they supply, meaning dilute them with inert substances; vitamin C is an example, because it tastes just as bitter as heroin and the “user” is not likely to notice. Sugar, powdered milk and baking soda may also be used at times.
So this time the sequence goes like this: dealer A gets greedy and cuts their supply more and more. The addict may believe they are taking 500 mg but the true dose may only be 150 mg (still very high).
The dealer A is arrested; no more supply. So the addict goes to dealer B and purchases 500 mg doses. But dealer B isn’t cutting or cutting at a far lower level. So the addict gets 350 mg, shoots up and dies.
It’s essentially the same as the first example: the liver is not producing sufficient enzymes needed. Because it didn’t need to. But then when the unlucky addict switches dealers and gets far more than he or she bargained for, the liver capability is just not there. The new dose is fatal, because the heroin is purer.
Once you understand these mechanisms, you can see how it would apply to any substance needing effective detox pathways in the body (including prescription drugs).
So now you can understand why so many people die of legally prescribed substances. Doctors are ignorant of simple biology.
And you will understand why I have always argued for legalizing and prescribing addictive substances. Making them illegal and jailing users does no good whatever. Education will save lives. One million years of lives, over just a 5-year period, in fact.
Safe Controlled Addiction
It makes no sense to punish the addict. It’s neither compassionate or logical. A far better idea is to legally prescribe the substance and monitor its dosing. That immediately gets rid of the “cutting” problem by crooks. But also the addict can be guided to safer habits, clean needles, having the antidote (naltrexone) on site, for use in emergencies, and so on.
Ultimately, the addict may come down from their habit. Nobody wants the horrible symptoms of heroin addiction. But once you are hooked, it’s too late.
In late 2021, New York City opened the first safe injection site in the US, which it is claimed averted 59 overdoses in its first 3 weeks. I believe this is the way to go. Over 100 safe injection sites are currently operating in at least 10 other countries.
A supervised site in Vancouver
In a dozen countries—including France, the Netherlands and Australia—only one fatal overdose has ever been associated with supervised consumption.
Let’s see what the DEA does. That force makes billions of dollars in shady profits, lining the pockets of the enforcers. They won’t want any solution to the “drug problem”.
I hope these drugs NEVER visit your home or family. But if it comes, you are forewarned…
To your good health,
Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby
The Official Alternative Doctor