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Years ago, when this blog first came into existence, I posted on some  subject related to politics and promptly drew this response from a reader – “Scott, if you keep posting about politics, I will stop reading this blog.”

I think I just wished him good luck and goodbye.

Even then, I saw no way to explore drug and alcohol problems in America without confronting politics. Now, decades later, I still don’t.

The two are deeply intertwined in our societies, and not just in the US, but in nation after nation– and that doesn’t seem likely to change.

The folks at the Politico website recently held a forum in Texas where several prominent legislators gathered to chew on the issue of raging fentanyl abuse. Here’s a link:

‘It’s everywhere‘: Fighting the war against fentanyl

As most of you are aware, this is referred to as a fourth wave of a much more enduring epidemic. Here’s an earlier post on the first three waves, if a refresher is needed.

Some comments from the discussion, which involved political figures from different parts of the country:

“Oregon’s [Representative} Rosenblum acknowledged the fentanyl problem in Portland has grown worse since state voters legalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs in 2020.”

So I’ve heard. The question is, did the problem grow because of the new law, or in spite of it? Debate continues.

“[Texas Rep. Henry] Cuellar rejected the call from some Republican hardliners to bomb the Mexican cartels.”

Well, thank God. What would prevent the cartels from simply moving these highly portable operations around Mexico or further south, into Central America? There’s a great deal of dense, unexplored jungle in that part of the world.

Let’s not forget our experience in the jungles of Vietnam. It’s a challenge even to locate the sources, let alone destroy them.

When it comes to the availability of naloxone, the article states that “…while most states have decriminalized [opioid antagonists] … some, including Texas, continue to treat them as drug paraphernalia.”

Don’t ask me to explain this. Naloxone has no action of its own, other than to block the action of opioids. Isn’t that what we want?

Same for test strips that allow users to detect fentanyl in their cocaine, heroin etc. It appears that “…a bill making strips legal, supported by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, died in the Texas Senate recently because some lawmakers believe legalization will give people more confidence to abuse drugs.” As far as I can determine, they already have too much of that sort of confidence.

Rest easy: The sponsoring legislator predicts that as overdose fatalities continue to mount, the Legislature will probably reconsider.


I guess they need more evidence.

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