Saturday, December 10, 2016


At the beginning of this week I wrote Rachel Maddow.  Since the night of the election, I'd been thinking about the relationship between drug addiction and alcoholism and locales where Donald Trump prevailed. I had not considered the suicide rate.  Should have.  Here, in part, is what I wrote to Ms. Maddow:

"If you take a map of those places where Trump scored, or where Trump changed a county from blue to red and then overlaid a map of opioid abuse and drug deaths, I suspect you would find a startling congruence.  I’m suggesting that a significant number of Americans in dire straights have taken to A) narcotizing themselves to relieve the stress they feel and B) voting for Trump as another way to relieve that stress.  Have someone on your staff, or even better you (where you would get the time I cannot fathom – but it’s worth it) read Sam Quinones’s book Dreamland – The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.

It’s no secret that Rob Portman and Tim Ryan both represent Ohio and both have done influential bipartisan work to address the epidemic our country faces.  Hillary Clinton got out in front of understanding the epidemic in New Hampshire and offered the most comprehensive and thoughtful plan to fight addiction.  I’m not sure she caught on to what I’ve come to suspect, addicted America is Trump’s America.
Check it out."

Today, thanks to a friend, I got to read this article by James Hohmann.  As I said to Rachel Maddow, "Check it out!"

Time will tell on whether Trump delivers anything of substance to people with these afflictions in these afflicted areas.  It will already be too late for those who have completed suicide.  Will he and his team recognize that our environment is threatened not only from the outside, but from our insides and from what we put inside ourselves?  

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