Think back to the days before Covid-19. The news was dominated by the first impeachment of President Trump, Democratic nominee rhetoric, climate change hysteria, China, and Fentanyl. At the time, the number of deaths reported from 2017 to 2019 demonstrated the prevalence of the drug as a growing concern across the nation. But numbers have been slow coming regarding the 2020 drug overdose numbers. Now, we know why.
A pair of posts have drawn media attention, though not nearly as much as they deserve. One focuses on a specific Fentanyl hotbed and another looks at the nation’s drug overdose spike as a whole. As we’ve been chirping about since the middle of last year when the best indicator we could find of the drug overdose spike was ambulance data, lockdowns and fearmongering over Covid-19 have sent millions of Americans into a state of despair. Here are the key paragraphs from and article we published in July, 2020:
Two things are top of mind right now. The first is the face mask debate. Mandates for face masks are spreading again, and it’s turning more contentious. But that’s much less of a real issue than the second risk, namely the renewed lockdowns. The economy has been improving, so Democrats and even some Republicans are pushing to kill it again. They need to in order to have any chance in the November elections.
What they don’t want you to know is that drug overdoses are spiking. They increased, year-over-year, 18% in March, 29% in April, and 42% in May. Keep in mind, overdoses were in decline as recently as January. Now, they’re spiking, and this can squarely be blamed on the lockdowns causing depression, loneliness, and loss of hope for a better future.
Drugs are often the way for people to escape problems which, for the most part, have been created more by government and media than the coronavirus itself. We’ve learned since then that states that remove their lockdown restrictions either see no spikes in Covid-19 cases or actually see them reduced. Meanwhile, some of the states with the harshest restrictions continue to struggle with the disease. Could it be the buried fact that face masks don’t really work?
Las Vegas is a good place to examine the effects of Covid-19 lockdowns on the despair of people as the drug challenges there existed even before the pandemic. According to Zero Hedge:
“Fentanyl Is Here:” Las Vegas Suffers 200% Surge In Overdose Deaths
America has been engulfed with a drug problem for decades, but the situation is quickly deteriorating as the largest inbound fentanyl traffic into the country was recently reported. Not surprising, but Las Vegas has been the latest metro area to suffer an “alarming” surge in overdose deaths.
According to Las Vegas Sun, fentanyl killed 219 people in the Las Vegas Valley in 2020, a stunning 200% increase from the prior year.
During the 2015-18 opioid crisis that ravaged many metros across the US, Clark County, Nevada, the area that houses Las Vegas, recorded annual reductions in opioid overdoses and deaths.
Since then, Mexican fentanyl has flooded the town, and overdoses/deaths have soared.
“We said fentanyl was coming,” Metro Police Capt. John Pelletier told reporters Thursday. “Fentanyl is here.”
Reporters questioned Pelletier about how the drug crisis is going so far (on a year-to-date basis), he answered: “not good.”
“Clark County fentanyl deaths are on par with the “alarming” 30% increase in total overdose deaths in 2020, when 768 people succumbed to them, compared with 591 in 2019,” Pelletier said, adding that 31 people were killed in the county in August, an average of about one per day.
Last week, Metro Police announced the creation of the Overdose Response Team, a task force comprised of local police and federal agencies. The task force would pursue murder charges for dealers accused of killing clients with drugs.
Another issue in Las Vegas and across Clark County is counterfeit pills that look identical to prescription medications are cut with fentanyl and have been responsible for overdoses and deaths.
The rise in fentanyl use across Clark County coincided with multiple things, such as a socio-economic implosion of Vegas during lockdowns, where tens of thousands of people lost their jobs. At the same time, Mexican drug cartels were pumping record amounts of the drug into the US – some describe this as a ‘perfect storm.’
“This emergency, this situation, does not discriminate,” Pelletier said. “It does not care how old you are; it does not care where you live.”
… and Pelletier is correct. The drug crisis has dramatically worsened since the pandemic began, with many streets in various metro areas have transformed into a “zombie apocalypse.”
Right now, Mexican drug cartels are pumping US streets with fentanyl, and the Biden administration doesn’t seem too worried about doing anything to stop this from happening with their relaxed border policies.
Vegas and the surrounding county are the next victims of the fentanyl crisis. Those partying in Vegas, be careful what party drugs you ingest. It could very well be cut with fentanyl.
The combination of lockdown despair, poor economic conditions, and the Biden administration giving Mexican drug cartels free rein at the border have made Las Vegas a particularly concerning situation. That city, perhaps more than any other, relies on the sentiment of the nation to drive tourism and conventions to its casino-lined streets. Without the tourism, citizens are seeing their businesses crumble and jobs dissolve quickly. This is certainly exacerbated by the rising availability of drugs.
Across the nation, the story is similar. As mentioned before, it’s getting some media attention but this type of situation deserves to be spread loudly. But the story of the day, week, and year so far has been racial tensions, and that relegates discussions of drug overdoses to page two.
According to Brad Polumbo at FEE:
Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocketed to Record Levels Amid Pandemic Lockdowns, New CDC Data Show
While the actual public health benefits of lockdowns are unclear, the deadly unintended consequences they caused are painfully obvious.
With each day that passes, the number of lives lost in COVID-19-related deaths continues to tragically grow. However, in a less noticed but equally important trend, we continue to gain insight into the countless deaths caused by lockdown measures intended to stop the virus’s spread.
The latest entry into this tragic account is a new data set showing drug overdose deaths skyrocketed in 2020 amid the height of pandemic lockdowns.
“New data shows that more Americans died of drug overdoses in the year leading to September 2020 than any 12-month period since the opioid epidemic began,” Axios reports. “The stubborn increase of such ‘deaths of despair’ shows that the opioid epidemic still has room to grow and that some of the social distancing steps we took to rein in the pandemic may have brought deadly side effects.”
Released this week by the Centers for Disease Control, the figures show that at least 87,000 people died from overdoses from October 2019 to September 2020. This amounts to a 29 percent increase from the same period in the previous year.
How do we know pandemic lockdowns are largely to blame?
Well, this measured period includes spring and summer 2020, the two periods in the pandemic to date where lockdowns were strictest and most widespread. And, Axios reports, “While overdose deaths from drugs had begun rising in the months leading to the pandemic… the biggest spike in deaths occurred in April and May 2020, when shutdowns were strictest.” (Emphasis mine).
Meanwhile, studies show that people used more drugs during the pandemic and were more likely to use alone—increasing the risk of deadly overdoses. These trends are clearly driven more by the isolation, despair, and loneliness of pandemic lockdowns than the virus itself.
Of course, more people overdosing on drugs isn’t at all what proponents of strict pandemic lockdowns wanted. In most cases, they sincerely wanted to protect people. But good intentions don’t guarantee good results, and sweeping government action is a blunt hammer that’s always going to hit more than just the nail it’s aimed at.
“Lawmakers should be keenly aware that every human action has both intended and unintended consequences,” FEE’s Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan have explained. “Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended. So while there is a place for legislation, that place should be one defined by both great caution and tremendous humility.”
Sweeping, unprecedented government lockdowns were anything but cautious and humble. And while the actual public health benefits of lockdowns are unclear, the deadly unintended consequences they caused are painfully obvious.
Contrary to the prescribed narrative from mainstream media and Big Tech, the true dangers of Covid-19 to people under 60 are debatable. But what’s not debatable are the deaths that can be directly attributed to lockdowns and fearmongering.
YouTube, Spotify, and other Big Tech platforms are taking Freedom First Network down
It’s no secret we speak our minds and bring on guests who do the same. That’s one of the biggest reasons we put together the Freedom First Network in the first place. There are far too many news outlets, including so-called “conservative” media companies, who are so beholden to Big Tech that they temper their perspectives at best and outright coverup the truth at worst. Many, as you all know, will blatantly lie in order to maintain the narrative that supports the radical agenda taking over much of the United States.
We have had our YouTube channel taken down. Many of our shows have been suppressed or removed by Facebook and Twitter. Spotify banned one of our shows completely from their platform. Google hates us. We’ve even been censored by some of the smaller players like Medium, Transistor, and Captivate. But we stand behind our reporting and perspectives and we refuse to bow down to Big Tech tyranny for the sake of pageviews or video plays.
This isn’t the easiest road to travel, especially for a media company that is so new. We launched Freedom First Network in 2020 to fight against the very censorship that we’re seeing so widespread today. We have found great homes for our content on freer speech platforms like Rumble and we’re putting our best efforts forward into building our presence on Locals. Nevertheless, we cannot do it alone. We need help.
One of the things cofounders Jeff Dornik and JD Rucker agreed to from the start was to never be the pawns of companies that do not embrace our worldview. Finding advertisers and affiliates is easy; we receive requests by companies wanting to be pushed on our shows every day. But it’s important to us that we’re promoting companies, services, and products that are beneficial to maintaining a Freedom First stance in America. As a result, we do not take on sponsors easily. We would rather rely on our own products like Freedom First Coffee and the support of our wonderful viewers, listeners, and readers.
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