Maia Szalavitz

Maia Szalavitz

There is a safe, nontoxic drug called naloxone that can instantly reverse opioid overdose and prevent most of these deaths. But the drug war interferes with saving overdose victims in two ways: first, because witnesses to overdose fear prosecution, they often don't call for help until it's too late. Second, because the drug war supports the belief that making naloxone available over-the-counter or with opioid prescriptions would encourage drug use, the antidote is available only through harm reduction programs like neeMore Maia Szalavitz quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Drug warriors' staunch opposition to needle exchanges to prevent the spread of HIV in addicts delayed the programs' widespread introduction in most states for years. A federal ban on funding for these programs wasn't lifted until 2009. Contrast this with what happened in the U.K. At the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the mid-1990s, the HIV infection rate in IV drug users in the U.K. was about 1%. In New York City, the American epicenter, that figure was 50%. The British had introduced widespread needle exchange in 1986. More Maia Szalavitz quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
When President Nixon declared war on drugs on June 17, 1971, about 110 people per 100,000 in the population were incarcerated. Today, we have 2-3 million prisoners: 743 people per 100,000 in the population. The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its prisoners. As Senator Jim Webb once put it, Either we are home to the most evil people on earth or we are doing something different and vastly counterproductive.More Maia Szalavitz quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Because of the war on drugs, pain patients are treated with skepticism and pain doctors live in fear of being prosecuted for overprescribing. The end result is that addicts still get their opioids without much trouble, while genuine patients often can't find treatment. Those who do must typically be tracked in a database and must schedule frequent, expensive doctor visits for surveillance like urine testing.More Maia Szalavitz quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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