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Thread: U.S. - The DEA: The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis

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    U.S. - The DEA: The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis 
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    The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis
    Leo Beletsky and Jeremiah Goulka
    The New York Times
    September 17th, 2018

    Every day, nearly 200 people across the country die from drug overdoses. Opioids have been the primary driver of this calamity: first as prescription painkillers, then heroin and, more recently, illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The death toll has risen steadily over the past two decades.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency that most directly oversees access to opioids, deserves much of the blame for these deaths. Because of its incompetence, the opioid crisis has gone from bad to worse. The solution: overhauling the agency, or even getting rid of it entirely.

    The problem begins with poor design. A brainchild of Richard Nixon's "war on drugs," the agency sought to cut off supplies of drugs on the black market, here and abroad. But in passing the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, Congress also gave the agency broad authority over how prescription opioids and other controlled substances were classified, produced and distributed. The agency was supposed to curb problematic drug use, but failed to do so because its tactics were never informed by public health or addiction science.

    Despite the investment of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and the earnest efforts of thousands of employees, the D.E.A.'s track record is abysmal. The agency has been unable to balance legitimate access to and control of prescription drugs. The widespread over-reliance on opioids, along with benzodiazepines, amphetamines and other scheduled medications, has created a booming black market.

    The agency's enforcement strategies, and the support it has lent to local and state police departments, have also fueled abusive police tactics including dangerous no-knock-raids and ethnic profiling of drivers. It has eroded civil liberties through the expansion of warrantless surveillance, and overseen arbitrary seizures of billions of dollars of private property without any clear connection to drug-related crimes. These actions have disproportionately targeted people of color, contributing to disparities in mass incarceration, confiscated property, and collective trauma.
    Read the full story here.
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    Bluelighter PtahTek's Avatar
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    Wanted to post something along the lines of "Anything new?" but didn't want to make little of the fact that corruption and hypocrisy run rife (as usual) among those individuals and agencies that claim to do what is best for us.
    Very informative, disturbing and corroborative.
    Good reading: Thanks.
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