How Much is Too Much?

In 2013, there were 434 opioid-related deaths in Maryland. In a state with a population of 5,939,000, that represents approximately .00008% of the population. Is it worth it, then, to spend millions of dollars to combat a problem that "really doesn't touch us?" The fact is, it does touch us. It is no longer a problem of the inner city, or minorities, or "poor people," which, by the way, were not good reasons for ignoring the problem either.

A recent CDC News Release (July 7, 2015), which many of you may have read, or heard on the news casts, clearly indicates that the face of the heroin/opioid user is changing, and the new face is "us."

The use of Heroin among white, non-Hispanic women has increased by 100% from 2004 to 2013. Males making over $50,000/year are using Heroin at a rate 60% higher than they were ten years ago. Sixty-three percent of those abusing heroin have private health insurance. We are no longer talking about "the others," people who don't live in our neighborhoods or go to our children's schools. To cite one of my favorite philosophers, Walt Kelly, "We have met the enemy and he is us." (Pogo, Earth Day, 1971).