If failure can be defined as something that creates the very crisis it’s intended to prevent, then a recent Brown University study of close-proximity opioid overdoses in Indianapolis confirms suspicions that little else fails like the drug war when it comes to saving lives.
The [researchers] found that within seven, 14 and 21 days, opioid-related seizures of drugs by police were significantly associated with increased overdoses within 100, 250 and 500 meters of the seizure location. Most notably, the number of fatal overdoses was two-fold higher than expected within seven days and 500 meters following an opioid-related incident in which police seized drugs.
The researchers hypothesized that the increase in overdose events was because people who use opioids will generally seek out a new supply after losing access to their previous drug supply, and that new supply will have unknown potency. In addition, in the time period between losing the familiar supply and finding a new one, people using opioids can experience diminished tolerance to drugs. Accidentally ingesting a dose beyond one’s tolerance can be fatal. […]
Congratulations are due the Brown University research team for making ‘drug war’ another definition of failure and enabling it to appear next to synonyms like breakdown, malfunction, cataclysm, crash, defeat, ruin, collapse, catastrophe, miscarriage, tragedy, frustration, and disappointment.