Sunday, January 17, 2016

Murder and Addiction: Two Sunday Themes

The New York Times has two good stories related to our topics.  One explains why Mexican drug cartels have been killing mayors, which is quite an interesting as well as horrifying story.  The other focuses on death by drug overdose, and its fairly shocking recent increase.  There's an ironic racial angle as well:
There is a reason that blacks appear to have been spared the worst of the narcotic epidemic, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a drug abuse expert. Studies have found that doctors are much more reluctant to prescribe painkillers to minority patients, worrying that they might sell them or become addicted.
“The answer is that racial stereotypes are protecting these patients from the addiction epidemic,” said Dr. Kolodny, a senior scientist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and chief medical officer for Phoenix House Foundation, a national drug and alcohol treatment company.

This follows an earlier study about a sudden rise in suicide among middle-aged whites, which was attributed to increasing economic isolation, among other things.  In any case, here are a couple of good windows into contemporary social reality via some detective non-fiction.

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