Opioid Epidemic Quotes

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Nobody has ever killed themselves over a broken arm. But every day, thousands of people kill themselves because of a broken heart. Why? Because emotional pain hurts much worse than physical pain.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories (Omnibus): How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began - a Memoir)
Whenever I listened to his friends speak about issues like prison reform, climate change, the opioid epidemic, in the simultaneously intelligent but utterly vacuous way of people who think it's important simply to weigh in, to have an opinion, I would bristle. I would think, What is the point of all of this talk? What problems do we solve by identifying problems, circling them?
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
Don't ever think you're better than a drug addict, because your brain works the same as theirs. You have the same circuits. And drugs would affect your brain in the same way it affects theirs. The same thought process that makes them screw up over and over again would make you screw up over and over as well, if you were in their shoes. You probably already are doing it, just not with heroin or crack, but with food or cigarettes, or something else you shouldn't be doing.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
When you push someone's head under water for 5 minutes, they will drown. It doesn't matter if the person is a sinner or a saint. It's just a natural process. If their head is under water, the lack of oxygen will make them drown. That rule applies to everyone, good or bad, equally. It doesn't matter if the drowning person has strong moral fiber. And it doesn't matter if you're a good or a bad person, once you become addicted to drugs. What happens next is inevitable. It's a natural process that happens in everyone's brain, once the drugs take over. So don't ever fool yourself into thinking that only weak or bad people get addicted.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
It's so exhausting, so mentally and emotionally draining when you care about a drug addict and they never miss an opportunity to disappoint, manipulate or hurt you.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
If a girl wants to sell her body, so be it. None of my business. Don't athletes sell their bodies, too? People can do behind closed doors whatever they want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
German is a much more precise language than English. Americans throw the word love around for everything: I love my wife! I love all my friends! I love rock music! I love the rain! I love comic books! I love peanut butter! The word you use to describe your feelings for your wife should not be the same word you use to describe your feelings for peanut butter. In German, there are a dozen different words that describe varying degrees of liking something a lot. Germans almost never use the word love, unless they mean a deep romantic love. I have never told my parents I love them, because it would sound melodramatic, inappropriate, and almost incestuous. In German, you tell your mother that you hold her very dear, not that you are in love with her.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How the Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began #2))
I curse when I get really upset. Letting off steam that way makes me feel a little bit better. I've been through a lot, but I have never had the urge to go postal. I thank fuck for that.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
Claiming to be offended is a great way to elevate yourself at the expense of others: “Look at me! I'm a much better person than you! And I judge you! I condemn you! Shame! Shame! SHAME!” These social media shamings bear an uncanny resemblance to medieval witch hunts.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories: The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #2))
Our entire life we chase the wrong things because we think having more money and buying more stuff will make us more happy. But it doesn't. You know why a billionaire has 100 Ferraris? Because 99 weren't enough.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
We have a genuine and devastating epidemic of opiate abuse in this country, and it is of critical importance that this problem be addressed. But we must do so in a way that doesn’t cut off an effective (and often the only) treatment for the chronically ill, many of whom are able to function in this world at all only because of the small respite that responsible opiate use provides.
Michael Bihovsky
If everything Fox News says about liberals were actually true, I'd hate liberals too.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Creativity takes courage. It takes courage to bare your soul for the world. It's like taking off your armor, although you know people have pointy sticks that they love to jab into soft flesh.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
In recent years, some of the biggest new drug kingpins can't be successfully prosecuted. The Pablo Escobars of today are coming out of China, and they don't have to worry about being imprisoned by their government. They can operate free and in the clear, within the boundaries of their country's own laws. Whenever a deadly new drug is made illegal in China, manufacturers simply tweak its chemical structure and start producing a new drug that is still legal. Many fentanyl analogues and cannabinoids have been made this way.
Ben Westhoff (Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic)
Government agencies are trying to get doctors to cut back on prescribing opioids. I understand that they need to do something about the epidemic of overdoses. However, labeling everyone as addicts, including those who responsibly take opioids for chronic pain, is not the answer. If the proposed changes take effect, they would force physicians to neglect their patients. Moreover, legitimate pain patients, like myself, would be left in agony on a daily basis.
Alison Moore,
Every word serves a purpose. It conveys an idea. And the idea behind words like feces, stool, or poop is exactly the same as behind the word shit. They all conjure up the same mental image in your head. So why are stool and poop "good" words, and shit is a "bad" word? Who decided that, and why am I bound by that decision?
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
Medical studies have shown that cursing reduces levels of stress and pain. Repressing your anger is not healthy. It's much better to verbalize it, and let off steam. Maybe all that repressed anger is the reason why there are so many serial killers in America.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
African Americans had been spared the full brunt of the opioid epidemic: doctors were less likely to prescribe opioid painkillers to Black patients, either because they did not trust them to take the drugs responsibly or because they were less likely to feel empathy for these patients and want to treat their pain aggressively. As a result, levels of addiction and death were statistically low among African Americans. It appeared to be a rare instance in which systemic racism could be said to have protected the community.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
A naked breast is no more a threat to the well-being of a child than a naked hand or foot. So from a European point of view, American media censorship seems utterly ridiculous.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
In Europe, nobody will bleep you, if you want to say a "bad" word on TV. The idea that some self-righteous little old lady at the FCC gets to tell other people which words they may or may not use, seems like a pretty strange concept in the rest of the civilized world. Media censorship is a prohibition of words and pictures. The War on Drugs is a complete failure, and so is the American War on Words. When you forbid a word, you give it power. Self-proclaimed rebels will use words like shit or fuck, simply to shock and sound cool.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
There are no happy endings in real life. A person's story doesn't suddenly end when something good happens. If you get married, that's not a happy ending. It's the happy beginning of your next chapter together. Ultimately every life is a tragedy that ends in death and grief. Grief is the price we pay for love. But along the way, there are some precious moments of happiness. And it's those fleeting moments that make life worth living.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
The problem with Trump voters is, they're so dumb, they don't even know how much stuff they don't know. They just assume nobody else knows more about evolution or global warming than they do. If they don't understand how it works, they think nobody understands how it works.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Why do some people feel offended by the word shit, but not by the word poop? Because some little old lady at the FCC decided that good citizens don't use the word shit, and suddenly using a word like shit or fuck becomes an act of civil disobedience. Suddenly a little four-letter word has the power to shock.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
For the first time, we could calculate the six-year total for the entire state. There were two ways to do it. Simply add up all the pills the pharmacies bought. Or add up each distributor’s deliveries to every county. Both methods produced the same number—780 million. That was just hydrocodone and oxycodone—in a state with fewer than 1.8 million people.
Eric Eyre (Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic)
It's hard to argue over money when a girl flashes you her pussy.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories: The Heroin Scene in Fort Myers (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began Book 2))
Would three boobs be better than two?
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Americans like to buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like. And then they wonder why they're not happy.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Religion is divisive. People kill because of it. I think one day religion will be seen as just as intolerant and wrong as racism.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
America is like an isolated information island. A lot of what happens in the rest of the world, a lot of the cultural exchange, never makes it to rural Alabama.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Nowadays words like "Liberal" and "Muslim" are used by right-wing extremists in the same way as the word "Jew" was used by the right-wing extremists of Nazi Germany.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
You're confusing weather with climate. When it's cold in the winter, that's weather. When it's cold in Alaska, that's climate.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
People looked at him as an orange-faced evil clown with silly hair. Like the Joker in Batman comics. Make Gotham great again!
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Worshipping a cross is no different than worshipping a tree, a rock, or the stars.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
First you make people believe they have a problem, and then you sell them the solution. That's how advertising works. Every snake oil salesman knows that.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Sometimes conspiracy theories are true. Most of the time they're not.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Because there is no love you can throw on them, no hug big enough that will change the power of that drug; it is just beyond imagination how controlling and destructive it is.
Beth Macy (Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America)
Europeans often laugh about how prudish Americans are, when it comes to sex. In Europe, sexuality is a normal part of life. Fancy antique art museums are full of nudity. And you'll see naked girls in every major newspaper. Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, has a topless girl on the backpage of every daily issue. Nobody thinks twice about it. Nobody finds it necessary to protect the children. A naked breast is no more a threat to the well-being of a child than a naked hand or foot. So from a European point of view, American media censorship seems utterly ridiculous.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
There's a big overlap between conspiracy theorists, racists, gun nuts, doomsday preppers, fans of the rapture and poor white Republicans. They all have one thing in common: They feel like the oppressed underdogs.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
A sacred cow, unexamined, feeds itself and produces a whole lot of bullshit. And nobody wants that, except the people who profit by selling you bullshit. Those are the people who try to tell you that examining or criticizing the sacred cow is taboo.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
the Times says there's a heroin epidemic, Malone thinks, which is only an epidemic of course because now white people are dying. Whites started to get opium-based pills from their physicians: oxycodone, vicodin... But, it was expensive and doctors were reluctant to prescribe too much for exactly the fear of addiction. So the white folks went to the open market and the pills became a street drug. It was all very nice and civilized until the Sinoloa cartel down in Mexico made a corporate decision that it could undersell the big American pharmaceutical companies by raising production of its heroin thereby reducing price. As an incentive, they also increased its potency. The addicted white Americans found that Mexican ... heroin was cheaper and stronger than the pills, and started shooting it into their veins and overdosing. Malone literally saw it happening. He and his team busted more bridge-and-tunnel junkies, suburban housewives and upper Eastside madonnas than they could count....
Don Winslow (The Force)
Arthur Sackler was a complex person of extraordinary will and determination, lionized by his friends and admirers as a Renaissance man with a passion for science and an entrepreneurial vision that allowed him to pursue multiple careers simultaneously.
Barry Meier (Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic)
When your kid’s dying from a brain tumor or leukemia, the whole community shows up. They bring casseroles. They pray for you. They send you cards. When your kid’s on heroin, you don’t hear from anybody, until they die. Then everybody comes and they don’t know what to say.
Sam Quinones (Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic)
I think a lot of modern art is complete bullshit. But I admire the creativity. The weird shit people think of! Some of the most interesting things I've ever seen in my life, I've seen in modern art museums. And that's what art is all about. It's supposed to make you think.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
So they tell you to buy stuff. More and more and more stuff. Even if you don't need any more stuff, buy more stuff! Because capitalism is like a pyramid scheme. It must constantly grow, constantly shovel more money to the top, like a sand monster feeding itself sand, or it dies.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Astrology is superstition. A remnant of the ignorant dark ages, when people knew nothing about how the world works. They believed the earth is flat and the center of the universe. Astrology might have made sense a long time ago, when people didn't know any better. Back then people believed that the stars were gods, with names like Zeus or Mars, the God of war, who had nothing better to do than to watch us down here on earth, and fuck with us. And gods have superpowers. So it would make sense for gods to be able to influence our lives or our decisions. Back then it sounded like there was an internal logic to it all. But nowadays we know better. Now we know that the earth is not flat and not the center of the universe. And now we know that the stars are not gods with superpowers, but simply suns and planets, millions of miles away. Big balls of gas and rock, flying through space, minding their own business. Mars is not the God of War. Mars is just a big red rock. There is simply no mechanism by which a big rock, flying through space millions of miles away, is gonna affect whether you're gonna get a raise tomorrow or not. Think about how self-centered and narcissistic that idea actually is. Astrology is the idea that this endlessly big universe and all the trillions of planets in it, are only here to affect whether you are gonna have a good day tomorrow. Because all these big rocks flying through space millions of miles away have nothing better to do than worry about you. Because you're so special, and everything is about you. The idea behind astrology is so stupid, it's actually kinda funny.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
In the sixteenth century, Swiss chemist Paracelsus coined the adage “the dose makes the poison.” It’s a fundamental principle of toxicology: High concentrations of any substance can kill. In this case, prescription opioids were particularly deadly. The coal barons no longer ruled Appalachia. Now it was the painkiller profiteers.
Eric Eyre (Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic)
I liked the ending of The Sopranos. The screen suddenly went black. In the middle of a scene. Without any of the plotlines being resolved. That's what real life is like. Everything keeps going, until someone turns off the lights and you're dead. And even then the story continues, without you. There is no such thing as a happy ending.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
The UK needs a post Brexit US trade deal like a hole in the head. Given America's out-of-control opioid crisis, fuelled by prescription drug addiction, along with an obesity epidemic like the world has never seen, why on earth would the UK want to open its doors to US healthcare companies ? So that they can wreak untold havoc and destroy our National Health Service ? No thanks !
Alex Morritt (Lines & Lenses)
What gave the morphine molecule its immense power, he said, was that it evolved somehow to fit, key in lock, into the receptors that all mammals, especially humans, have in their brains and spines. The so-called mu-opioid receptors—designed to create pleasure sensations when they receive endorphins the body naturally produces—were especially welcoming to the morphine molecule. The receptor combines with endorphins to give us those glowing feelings at, say, the sight of an infant or the feel of a furry puppy. The morphine molecule overwhelms the receptor, creating a far more intense euphoria than anything we come by internally. It also produces drowsiness, constipation, and an end to physical pain. Aspirin had a limit to the amount of pain it could calm. But the more morphine you took, Coop said, the more pain was dulled.
Sam Quinones (Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic)
The opioid crisis has become woven into the fabric of everyday American life. In hospitals, newborns, separated from the narcotics coursing through the bloodstream of their addicted mothers, enter the world writhing in the pain of opioid withdrawal. On the streets, police officers carry a new piece of standard equipment, a nasal spray containing medicine that could save the life of a person in the midst of an overdose.
Barry Meier (Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic)
Prostitution is not exactly a reputable business over there either, even though the girls actually have to pay taxes on their earnings, and submit to regular health check ups. Even the prostitutes have universal healthcare over there. The benefit of legal prostitution is obvious: tax income for the city, healthier girls, and safety. In Amsterdam, each girl has an alarm button next to her bed that she can press if one of her "customers" tries to rape or hurt her. The police will arrive within minutes and protect the girl from harm.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
As Dr. Fauci’s policies took hold globally, 300 million humans fell into dire poverty, food insecurity, and starvation. “Globally, the impact of lockdowns on health programs, food production, and supply chains plunged millions of people into severe hunger and malnutrition,” said Alex Gutentag in Tablet Magazine.27 According to the Associated Press (AP), during 2020, 10,000 children died each month due to virus-linked hunger from global lockdowns. In addition, 500,000 children per month experienced wasting and stunting from malnutrition—up 6.7 million from last year’s total of 47 million—which can “permanently damage children physically and mentally, transforming individual tragedies into a generational catastrophe.”28 In 2020, disruptions to health and nutrition services killed 228,000 children in South Asia.29 Deferred medical treatments for cancers, kidney failure, and diabetes killed hundreds of thousands of people and created epidemics of cardiovascular disease and undiagnosed cancer. Unemployment shock is expected to cause 890,000 additional deaths over the next 15 years.30,31 The lockdown disintegrated vital food chains, dramatically increased rates of child abuse, suicide, addiction, alcoholism, obesity, mental illness, as well as debilitating developmental delays, isolation, depression, and severe educational deficits in young children. One-third of teens and young adults reported worsening mental health during the pandemic. According to an Ohio State University study,32 suicide rates among children rose 50 percent.33 An August 11, 2021 study by Brown University found that infants born during the quarantine were short, on average, 22 IQ points as measured by Baylor scale tests.34 Some 93,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2020—a 30 percent rise over 2019.35 “Overdoses from synthetic opioids increased by 38.4 percent,36 and 11 percent of US adults considered suicide in June 2020.37 Three million children disappeared from public school systems, and ERs saw a 31 percent increase in adolescent mental health visits,”38,39 according to Gutentag. Record numbers of young children failed to reach crucial developmental milestones.40,41 Millions of hospital and nursing home patients died alone without comfort or a final goodbye from their families. Dr. Fauci admitted that he never assessed the costs of desolation, poverty, unhealthy isolation, and depression fostered by his countermeasures. “I don’t give advice about economic things,”42 Dr. Fauci explained. “I don’t give advice about anything other than public health,” he continued, even though he was so clearly among those responsible for the economic and social costs.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health)
This is a particular problem in the U.S., which makes up less than 5% of the global population but consumes 80% of the world’s supply of opioid prescription drugs.4 By 2012, 15,000 Americans were dying each year from prescription pill overdoses, more than from heroin and cocaine combined.5 In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named painkiller addictions the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.
Jo Marchant (Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body)
And when addiction does cripple white communities, as it has with the opioid epidemic, they don't get America's fire and fury, as black neighborhoods devastated by crack did. They get pillows and twenty-three-minutes-long Nightline profiles.
Damon Young
The distributors were sending some of their largest shipments to some of the smallest towns in the state. I worried the editors would want the story for the Sunday edition. They agreed to give me time to do more reporting. I had three weeks to put together the story of a lifetime.
Eric Eyre (Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic)
Within hours, however, the Post had a blockbuster up on its website: The drug distributors had saturated America with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 to 2012. The records provided a road map to the painkiller epidemic nationwide, tracing the path of every prescription opioid manufactured and distributed.
Eric Eyre (Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic)
There is now a real possibility that Trump will pardon Tiger King and then Tiger King will campaign for Trump. That could actually happen. That is Trump's America. If countries were TV shows, America would be Tiger King. BadChoices.us
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
The real perfect storm fueling the opioid epidemic had been the collapse of work, followed by the rise in disability and its parallel, pernicious twin: the flood of painkillers pushed by rapacious pharma companies and regulators who approved one opioid pill after another. Declining workforce participation wasn't just a rural problem anymore; it was everywhere, albeit to a lesser degree in areas with physicians who prescribed fewer opioids and higher rates of college graduates. As Monnat put it: "When work no longer becomes an option for people, what you have at the base is a structural problem, where the American dream becomes a scam." She likened the epidemic's spread not to crabgrass but a wildfire: "If the economic collapse was the kindling in this epidemic, the opiates were the spark that lit the fire." And the helicopters were nowhere in sight.
Beth Macy (Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America)
the opioid epidemic began in exactly the opposite manner, grabbing a toehold in isolated Appalachia, Midwestern rust belt counties, and rural Maine.
Beth Macy (Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America)
For the first time, we could calculate the six-year total for the entire state. There were two ways to do it. Simply add up all the pills the pharmacies bought. Or add up each distributor’s deliveries to every county. Both methods produced the same number—780 million. That was just hydrocodone and oxycodone—in a state with fewer than 1.8 million people. During those same years, 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, according to data sent to me by epidemiologists at the state Health Statistics Center.
Eric Eyre (Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic)
the state hoarded resources to turn the white faces of the opioid crisis into sympathetic victims while it made out the Black faces of the crack epidemic to be monsters deserving of their lot. There is no situation in which we can’t afford to give Black people who fail at state-sanctioned behaviors more care and grace.
Hari Ziyad (Black Boy Out of Time)
I grew up in Germany. Europe is far more liberal than America. Even most conservative right-wing parties over there are to the left of the US Democrats on many issues. For example, it wouldn't occur to even the most right-wing party in Europe to oppose universal healthcare. But this isn't a book about politics. It's about sex and drugs. You know, the good stuff.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
In Germany, people will agree in theory that prostitution should be legal, but they usually won't admit that they themselves have ever gone to a prostitute: "Yeah, it should be legal, and I have no problem with it, but I would never go to one. I'm above that." Then they secretly go to one anyway. On the down low. They won't admit it in polite company, because they don't want to look trashy.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
A lot of bands make two different music videos for their latest songs. A censored version for American TV, and an uncensored version that includes nudity for European music stations. The so-called Land of The Free doesn't seem so free anymore, when you realize that other countries have a lot more freedom.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
Why do some people feel offended by the word shit, but not by the word poop? Because some little old lady at the FCC decided that good citizens don't use the word shit, and suddenly using a word like shit or fuck becomes an act of civil disobedience. Suddenly a little four-letter word has the power to shock.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
Indeed, the panic of white slavery lives on in our politics today. Black workers suffer, something in nature has gone awry. And so an opioid epidemic is greeted with a call for treatment and sympathy, as all epidemics should be, while a crack epidemic is greeted with a call for mandatory minimums and scorn. Op-ed columns and articles are devoted to the sympathetic plight of working class whites when their life expectancy approaches levels that, for blacks, society simply accepts as normal.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
America’s opioid epidemic is another warning light. Émile Durkheim, the father of modern sociology, said that when societies hit a civilisational break the suicide rate soars.
Edward Luce (The Retreat of Western Liberalism)
I like old hippies so much more than old conservatives.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Traveling broadens your horizon. It makes you see the bigger picture.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
I'm in love with my own words.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
It was now in the grip of a full-blown opioid epidemic. Millions of Americans had become addicted to OxyContin and other opioids, whether they had done so through recreational abuse or under a doctor’s care. Indeed, whatever the Sacklers might have wanted to tell themselves about their own intentions and the nature of the business they were in, this large population of addicted people was part of the reason that Purdue’s sales were still so strong. The numbers didn’t lie.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
African Americans had been spared the full brunt of the opioid epidemic: doctors were less likely to prescribe opioid painkillers to Black patients, either because they did not trust them to take the drugs responsibly or
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
speak about issues like prison reform, climate change, the opioid epidemic, in the simultaneously intelligent but utterly vacuous way of people who think it’s important simply to weigh in, to have an opinion,
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
the state hoarded resources to turn the white faces of the opioid crisis into sympathetic victims while it made out the Black faces of the crack epidemic to be monsters deserving of their lot.
Hari Ziyad (Black Boy Out of Time)
Five years later, the legacy of Trump’s presidency and his promises can be addressed. There never was an infrastructure bill. Trump’s budgets consistently proposed cuts to the social programs he vowed not to touch. He did little to combat the opioid epidemic he promised to end, with deaths rising by the end of his tenure. The national debt Trump promised to erase has ballooned by almost $7.8 trillion. Trump’s failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with nothing remains the nadir of his public approval, surpassing even the days following his incitement of an armed attack on the Capitol building in an effort to overturn his 2020 election loss. Trump has the worst jobs record of any president since 1939, with more than three million lost. He is, in fact, the worst jobs president “god ever created,” despite inheriting an economy that had finally begun to boom in the later years of the Obama administration. The promises of better healthcare didn’t materialize, and the job and wage growth from the economy he inherited were crushed by the pandemic he refused to address. Those were not the promises Trump kept.
Adam Serwer (The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America)
The Committee on Oversight and Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that it would hold a hearing on “The Role of Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family in the Opioid Epidemic
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
As I traveled and spoke with neuroscientists, it seemed that one way of thinking of America in the last four decades is that we gradually surrendered—collectively, as a culture—to the brain’s reward pathway. Our prosperity allowed us this luxury. We could follow the nucleus accumbens and the pursuit of dopamine and pleasure. This was one way of understanding the Opioid Era in America. Our epidemic of opioid addiction was just an extreme expression of a culture in which, in so many ways, Me won the battle over Us.
Sam Quinones (The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth)
For several months, about all I did was talk to addicts, counselors, and cops around the country—over the phone because the pandemic restricted travel. Meth was overshadowed by the opioid epidemic. But the people I spoke to told me stories nearly identical to Eric’s. This new meth itself was quickly, intensely damaging people’s brains. The symptoms were always the same—violent paranoia, hallucinations, figures always lurking in the shadows, isolation, rotted and abscessed dental work, uncontrollable limbs, massive memory loss, jumbled speech, and, almost always, homelessness. It was creating a swath of people nationwide who, while on meth and for a good period afterward, were mentally ill and all but untreatable by usual methods of drug rehabilitation. Ephedrine-made meth wasn’t good for the brain, but it was nothing like this. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are afflictions that begin in the young. Now people in their thirties and forties were going mad. The new meth was also deadly in a way ephedrine meth was not. It was killing young people with congestive heart failure, a disease common to people over sixty-five.
Sam Quinones (The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth)
Drug demand is important in all this. But it must be said: these stories begin with supply. Our opioid addiction epidemic began with a mighty supply of pain pills prescribed every year, which created widespread addiction that continues to this day. Right about that time, traffickers were discovering that synthetic drugs were not just immensely profitable but could create or shift demand simply because they could be made in unprecedented quantities all year long. So they flocked to them. The British Empire has rightly received history’s condemnation for pushing its colonies’ opium on China—waging the two Opium Wars to do so in the nineteenth century. Those supplies took what had been a minor problem in China and created a drug scourge that would afflict that country for a century.
Sam Quinones (The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth)
I’m sympathetic to the idea of drug legalization as a response to this. We made a tragic mistake through the twentieth century in gradually criminalizing drugs that ought to have been dealt with—were being dealt with—medically. We created a profit center for mafias around the world. We stopped considering ways to reduce overdose deaths—studying, for example, how safe injection sites work elsewhere. Among other things, criminalization also prevented us from fully studying these drugs for their medicinal benefits and harms. The problem is, I don’t trust American capitalism to do drug legalization responsibly. The last fifty years are replete with examples of corporations turning addictive services and substances against us, fine-tuning their addictiveness, then marketing them aggressively. Remember when social media was going to be the great technological connective tissue, bringing people together, inaugurating a new era of understanding? Instead, it midwifed an era of virulent tribalism. The opioid epidemic began with legal drugs, irresponsibly marketed and prescribed. The Sacklers are only one example of a tendency that nestles into every corner of American capitalism when it is allowed to extract maximum profit from products and services that neuroscience shows our brains are vulnerable to. Meanwhile, alcohol and cigarettes kill more than any other drug by far, because they are legal and widely available. Alcohol also drives arrests and incarceration more than any other single drug. Our brains are no match for the consumer and marketing culture to emerge in the last few decades. They are certainly no match for the highly potent illegal street drugs now circulating.
Sam Quinones (The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth)
If that’s not enough, he uses the opportunity to paint himself as some sort of patriotic hero out to save our children from the opioid epidemic.
Isabella Maldonado (A Killer’s Game (Daniela Vega, #1))
Studies have demonstrated that opioids may actually increase pain over the long run and that non-drug treatments are much more effective than opioid therapy. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that painkiller overdose deaths are an official epidemic.
John Temple (American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic)
That’s oxycodone—one of the most irresistible opioid narcotics ever cooked up in the six-thousand-year history of dope.
John Temple (American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic)
But deaths involving prescription narcotics continued to mount, until the trend was impossible to dismiss. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids quadrupled between 1999 and 2007, from about three thousand to twelve thousand per year. By contrast, cocaine killed about six thousand users in 2007, heroin about two thousand. Prescription narcotics were now killing more Americans than all illegal drugs combined. In
John Temple (American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic)
And the companies developed one new opioid narcotic after another, hailing each as a breakthrough.
John Temple (American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic)
Endo, maker of Opana, Percocet, and Percodan, distributed a patient education publication that said withdrawal symptoms and increased tolerance to narcotics are not the same as addiction. “Addicts take opioids for other reasons, such as unbearable emotional problems.”* The
John Temple (American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic)
Whenever I listened to his friends speak about issues like prison reform, climate change, the opioid epidemic, in the simultaneously intelligent but utterly vacuous way of people who think it’s important simply to weigh in, to have an opinion, I would bristle. I would think, What is the point of all this talk? What problems do we solve by identifying problems, circling them?
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
Some 80 percent of Americans addicted to opioids began with prescription painkillers, not with illegal street drugs. Essentially, pharmaceutical executives acted like Colombian drug lords, with legal approval. Many cities and states, including Baltimore, are now suing Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies to recover some of the costs of treating the opioid epidemic, but no one can ever give Daniel back what he lost.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope)
The capacity that we have to do anything, whether we believe in our ability or that of others, is often determined by how committed we are in challenging our own beliefs.
D. Terrence Foster (The OPIOID EPIDEMIC CONSUMERS and HEALTHCARE GUIDE)
Bad choices make good stories.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Going to New York (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #1))
If abortion is murder, then blowjobs are cannibalism.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
So much of what we call Conventional Wisdom is complete bullshit.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Bodies were piling up too fast in some places for medical examiners and coroners to keep up. Morgues were filled to capacity, and corpses had to be stored for days in rented refrigerated tractor-trailers until space became available. Many of the dead were not autopsied. It is standard procedure in a drug-overdose case to conduct an autopsy. But even if medical examiners had had time to autopsy every victim, some stopped themselves from doing so. Professional groups that accredit medical examiners set a limit on the number of autopsies that a doctor can competently perform in a year, and examiners in areas with large numbers of overdose deaths would have exceeded that number and risked losing their accreditation. As a result, when overdose victims were discovered near hypodermic needles or pill bottles, they went straight to their graves, unexamined.
Barry Meier (Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic)
Love is an addiction.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Love makes life worth living.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
Interstate 290 cuts past Chicago’s Rush University hospital and then through the city’s near Southwest Side. Adjacent to the expressway, homeless people and others suffering from opioid-use disorders do deals and shoot up, and the highway also provides quick access for affluent people from the suburbs. “They serve you in your car, quick-out in under a minute, and you’re back home in Hinsdale before the kids wake,” Jack Riley, ex–special agent in charge of the DEA’s Chicago office, told Rolling Stone. “That’s why gangsters kill for those corners. They’re the Park Place and Boardwalk of the drug game.” To Chicago residents, 290 is better known as the Eisenhower Expressway or, to many, the Heroin Highway. Chicago’s famously high murder rate, which police say is driven by drug dealing on the West Side, all comes to a head near the Heroin Highway, in drug markets on streets like Independence Boulevard.
Ben Westhoff (Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic)
Heroin,” he said simply. Emma gave him a skeptical look. “Never heard of the opioid epidemic? Eventually the semilegal stuff stops doing the job. But like I said, above my pay grade.
Kate Alice Marshall (No One Can Know)
Phobias are concentrated around a few animals and situations that kill almost nobody, such as snakes (even tiny ones), tightly enclosed places, the dark, public speaking, and heights. Conversely, very few people develop phobias to things that kill many modern people, including cars, opioids, knives, guns, and junk food.
Jonathan Haidt (The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness)