There is a pandemic in America – and around the world. It is the scourge of drug addiction. Modern medicine, let’s say the last 200 years, has developed some of the most powerful pain killers and anesthetics ever imagined. These have served our populace well in the development of modern medical practice – and they have been violated by an unaware populace. Unaware of the devastating outcomes of even minor use.
This scourge has not been identified as ‘pandemic’ because it is not considered to be infectious – from Wikepedia:
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:
- the emergence of a disease new to the population.
- the agent infects humans, causing serious illness.
- the agent spreads easily and sustainably among humans.
A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. For example cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious (although certain causes of some types of cancer might be).”
The nature of drug addiction creates an infectious environment. The cost of illegal heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other synthetic versions of these drugs is beyond the means of most drug addicts. The addict will often resort to crime to supplement their addiction. Crime in this case is often the spreading of the disease. They must proliferate the addiction so they have a market – a market that will sustain their own addiction.
I know a man in my town who has been destroyed by methamphetamine. He owned a mechanics garage – and he was a good mechanic. So good that he could not keep up with the work. He worked ten hours a day, six days a week, and had a three week customer waiting list. His skills were in great demand.
One day he told one of his customers of his dilemma. The customer casually mentioned that he had something that might help. My mechanic businessman friend tried methamphetamine. He immediately found an energy boost – he could work 12 hours every day, even seven days a week. His distorted sense of well being told him he was doing better – getting more done. The reality was that the quality of his work was degraded, his family was suffering, and the cost of the Meth took the profit from his business.
He realized the cost was prohibitive so the meth addled mind told him the solution was to purchase more meth than he personally required, sell the excess to cover the cost of his meth use – and all would be well. He began introducing meth to his customers. This was a total violation of his own moral ethics – but the meth had taken over and was running his life – he was out of control and completely unaware.
That was seven years ago. Today he has completed four years in prison for distribution of meth, has lost his wife and children, and has lost his business (While he was in prison his meth addict ‘friends’ stole and sold $30,000 of mechanics tools.)
He is presently in recovery, attending 12 step Narcotics Anonymous Meetings, working as a maintenance man in a local factory at $8.50 an hour, and he feels privileged to see his children twice a month.
Illegal drugs are 1) New to the population. 2) the agent infects humans, causing serious illness. 3) The agent spreads easily and is sustainable among humans.
This is an infectious disease.
See Also: On Health Care