Clean Air And Water Are To Blame for Heroin Addiction In West Virginia, Says David McKinley
You may have heard that the problem of addiction to heroin and other opioid drugs is getting worse in the USA. The problem is worse nowhere than in West Virginia, where 627 people were killed by drug overdoses last year (That’s 313 times larger than the average annual number of people killed by Muslim terrorists in the entire United States).
Many people have pointed out that marketers for pharmaceuticals corporations caused the growth in opioid addiction by pushing doctors to prescribe more opioids, and providing dishonest claims that opioid drugs aren’t very addictive. Dr. Art Van Zee writes, “When Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, it was aggressively marketed and highly promoted. Sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000.1 The high availability of OxyContin correlated with increased abuse, diversion, and addiction, and by 2004 OxyContin had become a leading drug of abuse in the United States… A consistent feature in the promotion and marketing of OxyContin was a systematic effort to minimize the risk of addiction in the use of opioids for the treatment of chronic non–cancer-related pain.”
Some West Virginia politicians have another explanation for the dramatic growth of heroin and other opioid overdoses in West Virginia. They say that your desire to breathe clean air and drink clean water is to blame.
U.S. Representative David McKinley declares “Obama’s environmental policies a factor in W.Va. drug abuse”, and promotes an article by Jeremiah Shelor, quoting McKinley and making the argument that:
1. “Environmental regulations have contributed to the socioeconomic challenges” in West Virginia.
2. Environmental regulations have caused economic trouble by leading the coal industry to flounder: “Environmental regulations have contributed to a marketplace where basically no new coal-fired power plants are being built.”
3. Therefore, it’s clean air and clean water policies that reduce coal industry profits that are to blame for opioid drug addiction in West Virginia.
“If the president wants to understand one of the factors making the drug crisis worse, he needs only to look at his own policies on coal,” says Congressman McKinley. If only it were legal for the coal industry to fill the air and water with filth, McKinley and other politicians suggest, then the problem of heroin and opioid drug addiction in West Virginia would just go away.
This argument proves that there are other substances than psychoactive drugs that can cause vivid hallucinations: Campaign donations from coal companies, for example. Over the last six years alone, McKinley has taken $209,600 from people working for fossil fuels corporations – and that doesn’t count the substantial independent expenditures the coal industry has made on McKinley’s behalf. That’s what addiction looks like.