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POTUS Promised to End the Opioid Painkiller and Heroin Epidemic. A Wall Won't Do That

German Lopez - Vox
go to original
March 1, 2017



Painkillers now kill more Americans than any illegal drug (Vox)

President Donald Trump said during his joint address to Congress on Tuesday that he will build “a great, great wall along our southern border” — in part to stop drugs from pouring in at an “unprecedented rate.” “Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately stop,” Trump promised early on in his speech.

A solution is desperately needed. In 2015, mostly due to the opioid painkiller and heroin epidemic, more than 52,000 deaths were linked to drug overdoses — the highest single year of drug overdoses in US history.

There’s just one problem with Trump’s idea: The evidence suggests a wall will do little to nothing to stop the flow of drugs into America.

A 2013 report by journalist Reed Karaim summarized the expert consensus, following the previous few years of border security buildup:

Most border security analysts say there is little evidence the buildup has significantly reduced the availability of illegal narcotics in the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has cited reduced use of some drugs, especially cocaine, as proof the buildup is working. But other drugs have grown in popularity, and smugglers have proved adept at shifting their methods and locations in response to interdiction efforts.

Peter Andreas, a political science professor at Brown University and author of Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America, concurred with that conclusion. As he described it, no realistic amount of border security — including a wall — could actually stop the flow of drugs into the US, because drugs are simply far too profitable and compact (and therefore easy to smuggle) for drug traffickers to give them up.

Read the rest at Vox

Related: America’s Heroin Epidemic Starts in Mexico (Bloomberg)

Related: Trump’s Lies About Drugs and Immigrants Crossing US Borders (Weed News)

Related: Legalizing, Prison or Hands Cut Off: How Other Countries Handle Marijuana (OC Register)

Related: FBI Director James Comey Eyes Mexico in US Heroin Epidemic (Associated Press)

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