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Trump Needs To Control His Drug Addicted Followers: These Maps show that counties where opioid deaths and prescription rates are highest are also places where Trump won big in 2016
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J.J. McCullough
2018-09-17 22:48:48 UTC
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These maps show that counties where opioid deaths and prescription rates
are highest are also places where Trump won big in 2016

Out of the 82 counties with exceptionally high opioid death rates, 77
voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, and most were in rural parts of
the country.
Economic regression, unemployment, and the associated social decline are
correlated with high rates of drug use in white counties.
While the focus of the Trump administration has been on treatment and
curbing prescription rates, experts say that underlying causes need to be
addressed as well to prevent addiction in the first place.

The opioid crisis is a nationwide problem with no red-state or blue-state
bias, but of the outlier counties with the highest levels of opioid
overdose deaths in the country, the vast majority voted for President
Donald Trump in 2016, and many lie in rural regions like Appalachia,
according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Out of all the counties for which opioid overdose death data has been
compiled by the CDC, there are 82 outlier counties where 15 people or more
died per 100,000 people. Of these 82 counties, 77 voted for Trump in the
2016 presidential election, according to Townhall.com voting data. With
several exceptions, the majority of these outlying counties lie in
Appalachia or the rural West.

The factors that fuel drug addiction and abuse also drive Trump's appeal
in middle America
Opioid Death Rate Map
The rate of opioid deaths is now the same between rural, urban, and
suburban counties, however the places most affected by the crisis remain
rural areas. Skye Gould/Business Insider
To many experts, this does not come as a surprise.


Shannon Monnat, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse
University, said her findings indicate that places where rates of death
due to drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and suicide are high are also places
that heavily supported Trump in the election.

"I expected to see it because when you think about the underlying factors
that lead to overdose or suicide, it's depression, despair, distress, and
anxiety," Monnat told Business Insider.

Research Monnat did after the election suggested that counties that were
largely white and had a high "economic distress index" correlated strongly
with high support for Trump. The index, which Monnat has used in her
research for years, combines the percentages of people who are in poverty,
unemployed, disabled, in single-parent families, living on public
assistance, or living without health insurance. These same places also had
exceptionally high rates of drug overdoses and deaths.

Historian Kathleen Frydl's research shows an even more striking trend. She
noticed that many typically Democratic counties that were particularly
heavily affected by the opioid crisis went red on election night. She
named this segment of the population the "oxy electorate."

https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/59fb8afb58a0c1184d8b5440-640-
506.png


Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at
Stanford University, agreed, and said that even though poverty is by no
means a determinate factor in whether people will begin using drugs, he
said it makes someone more likely to fall into addiction once they have
already begun using.


"You can imagine communities where everybody loses their jobs, and a lot
of public amenities decay, and families become more strained," Humphreys
said. "In that environment, substance use that normally might not become a
problem could spiral into addiction more easily than it would otherwise."

The evidence for this is no longer just anecdotal — research from the
National Bureau of Economic Research shows that unemployment and opioid
overdoses and deaths are directly correlated. The paper demonstrates that
as the unemployment rate for a given county increases by one percentage
point, the opioid death rate per 100,000 rises by 0.19 (3.6%) and the
opioid overdose emergency department visit rate per 100,000 increases by
0.95 (7.0%).

Monnat said Trump's campaign rhetoric on economic issues spoke exactly to
the problems these downtrodden communities are facing, since many of these
counties have been in the middle of a long period of economic regression
ever since the early 2000s. That downward turn was compounded by the Great
Recession of 2008.

"That was the message that Trump was appealing to," Monnat said. "There
was such a sense of hopelessness that it makes sense they would vote for
massive change."

The recommendations of Trump's opioid commission address some, but not
all, of the causes of opioid abuse
Trump declared a national public health emergency in October to combat the
mounting rates of death and addiction due to opioids, pledging to expand
enforcement along the southern border, implement drug courts, and pursue a
"just say no" strategy. However, Monnat says that more needs to be done to
address the underlying causes of drug abuse and death that she has
observed.


"One of the things with President Trump's announcement and the opioid
commission's forthcoming recommendation is that they're very treatment
based," she said. "They focus almost exclusively on keeping addicts from
dying rather than keeping people from falling into addiction to begin
with."

Still, more needs to be done on the treatment side, Humphreys said. He
claimed that opioid death rates remain correlated to geography.

"Why are more people dying in West Virginia? When people are addicted,
they're far less likely to get treatment, if they have an overdose,
they're far less likely for an ambulance to come, which could be really
far away," Humphreys said. "The services aren't there. So the same drug
problem that is less likely to end up ruining your life if you happen to
live in a city that has abundant health services, is going to harm you
more when you're living in a low-income rural state like West Virginia,
Kentucky, or southern Ohio."


Overprescription of opioids has been seen as a gateway into illegal
opioids like heroin and fentanyl. Skye Gould/Business Insider
One of the things the Trump administration is tackling is opioid
overprescription. Research suggests that legally prescribed opioids can
lead to addiction and abuse of more dangerous drugs like heroin later on,
according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Yet both Monnat and Humphreys agree that only tackling the immediate
causes of death from opioid abuse won't solve the problem in the long-
term. Humphreys, who is himself a native of West Virginia, said his
personal experiences watching his home transform because of economic
decline, unemployment, and the mountain of opioid deaths has made it clear
to him that the social conditions that made the opioid crisis possible run
deep.

"In my hometown people die every year," Humphreys recounts. "There were
some drugs when I was growing up, but there was no significant problem
with diverted opioids, and there certainly were not many people using
heroin. And then on the economic side, the coal industry has collapsed, it
used to employ a lot of people in my family. Those were very good jobs,
they paid very well for someone with a high school degree."

"And so what you see is a lot of these towns, they're really strange
places. There's no sense of optimism. And it just did not feel that way
when I was growing up. We had problems but I think we had a lot more hope
than we have now."

Shannon Monnat was incorrectly identified as a rural sociologist and
demographer at Pennsylvania State University, which was one of her
previous roles. This article has been updated with her current
credentials.
Gunner Asch
2018-09-18 11:16:56 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:48:48 +0000 (UTC), "J.J. McCullough"
Post by J.J. McCullough
many typically Democratic counties that were particularly
heavily affected by the opioid crisis went red on election night. She
named this segment of the population the "oxy electorate."
I can understand that. All the conservatives looked around at the
drug addicted Democrats and decided to get control over those people
and either clean em up..or put em in prison.

Works for me.

__

"Poor widdle Wudy...mentally ill, lies constantly, doesnt know who he is, or even what gender "he" is.

No more pathetic creature has ever walked the earth. But...he is locked into a mental hospital for the safety of the public.

Which is a very good thing."

Asun rauhassa, valmistaudun sotaan.


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