FROM Lisa Roberts
Mass incarceration in middle America Prison reform is reducing inmate populations from big America cities — but, in many suburbs and rural communities, it's just the reverse. The same crimes that call for probation or just months in jail in Cincinnati, Ohio, are leading to years in prison in nearby Dearborn County, Indiana. The new convicts are not Latinos and African Americans, imprisoned disproportionately for so many years. They're part of the white middle class. One reason is the addiction to prescription drugs that's created a new market for cheap heroin and the crime that goes with it. It's also due to the punitive use of discretion by prosecutors and judges -- raising new questions about equal treatment under the law.
Opioid and Heroin Addictions in America Two epidemics of drug addiction in Middle America have victimized people who suffer from pain. "Fatal heroin overdoses in America have almost tripled in three years. More than 8,250 people a year now die from heroin. At the same time, roughly double that number are dying from prescription opioid painkillers, which are molecularly similar." That's from a recent piece in the New York Times by Sam Quinones, based on his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic . Portsmouth, Ohio is the unlikely "Ground Zero" for parallel epidemics of drug addiction that have spread nationwide. Expensive, but legal, painkillers have been over-hyped by Big Pharma, creating a market for a cheaper form of relief: "black tar Heroin" from Mexico. Congress is beginning to pay attention. Photo: Elizabeth Roy
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.