The Corner

World

Britain’s Opioid Problem

Since the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016, the United States has budgeted $1 billion in relief to the nation’s opioid crisis. But the human cost has been infinitely more. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 130 people die every day from opioid-related overdoses.

It is said that when America sneezes, Britain gets the cold. And The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, reports that opioid prescriptions rose by 127 percent in England between 1998 and 2016: The more socioeconomically deprive the area, the more likely usage was. Though there is scant clinical evidence that opioids provide long-term pain relief, one in eight British adults are taking the drugs.

From The Times of London:

Soaring consumption since 2007 is mirrored by an increase in overdoses and deaths, The Sunday Times has discovered. About 2,000 fatalities each year — more than five every day — are down to the powerful painkillers, up by 41% from 10 years ago, as revealed by an analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by this newspaper.

They include deaths from heroin. Four in five people who try heroin began with prescription painkillers, experts say.

The number of Britons taken to hospital after overdosing on opioids has almost doubled in the past decade. There were 11,500 such cases in 2017-18.

A key concern in the 2019 British election was the effect that leaving the EU would have on British health care and whether, after a trade deal with the U.S., there might be an Americanizing effect on the National Health Service. The former British health minister, Norman Lamb, has warned that the U.K. might be “sleepwalking” into the same opioid crisis as in America. Clearly this issue warrants urgent government attention.

Madeleine Kearns is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and is a trained singer.

Most Popular

Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More

Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars

He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More

Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars

He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More
U.S.

Women’s Sports Should Be Women’s Sports

Transgender sports policies make a mockery of women’s competition. Just look at the state of Connecticut. At the 2018 state open for women’s track and field, two young men identifying as transgender took first and second place in the 100m race. Their participation not only deprived young women of their ... Read More
U.S.

Women’s Sports Should Be Women’s Sports

Transgender sports policies make a mockery of women’s competition. Just look at the state of Connecticut. At the 2018 state open for women’s track and field, two young men identifying as transgender took first and second place in the 100m race. Their participation not only deprived young women of their ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More