Author: Officials Drunk on Alcohol Money Call Opioids the 'Biggest Health Crisis'
Oklahoma settles first opioid lawsuit
BURLINGTON, Wis., March 27, 2019 (Newswire.com) - The first lawsuit of the opioid crisis against a major manufacturer of opioid prescription pills was settled yesterday. The settlement emerged from nearly 2,000 lawsuits threatening to push the manufacturer to a bankruptcy safe-haven, says the author of Look What Dragged the Cat In: The Rise of an Opioid Crisis. In the book, presented in hardcover at academic conferences in 2018 and available in e-book today, author Scott Stevens demonstrates how neither the drugmaker nor doctors are to blame in the 'ab irato' lawsuits. “Are their hands clean? No. But they didn't create this crisis, or the two it's spawned (benzodiazepines and methamphetamine),” says Stevens.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced the settlement, calling the crisis “this nightmarish epidemic” and “the worst public health crisis our state and nation have ever seen.” Stevens responds, “The death toll from opioids in Oklahoma is about 400. They're all tragic. No question. Alcohol kills at least 1,300 a year in that state. If opioids are an epidemic, alcohol is a pandemic that costs Oklahomans $4.5 billion a year, and the U.S. 90,000 lives and $250 billion a year.
The fifth book by Stevens calls out the alcohol business and a 'buzz' culture as culprits behind the opioid crisis. Stevens says, “If you examine how many opioid deaths are alcohol-related, the answer is that they all are. Two-thirds of illicit drug users point to alcohol as their first drug, and all of us learn to self-prescribe from alcohol.”
Stevens acknowledges Americans don't want to believe alcohol is a drug or a problem outside of car wrecks, cirrhosis, and alcoholism. "We're told we can drink responsibly when there is no responsible way to drink a toxin and carcinogen. Buying into the glamour of the drug seduced Americans right into opioids.”
Among his solutions is a strategy like the anti-smoking campaign that began with the Master Settlement Agreement for tobacco companies in the 1990s. “We defend drinking as some sort of rite. All we're doing by guarding drinking as a personal choice is sacrificing our own children for a product with zero health benefits.”
Source: Scott Stevens