Claim: Climate Change will Make the US Opioid Crisis Worse

Boiling Heroin
Boiling heroin. By Hendrike source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Just in case you thought the climate movement and Penn State University couldn’t sink any lower.

Climate Change Could Make The Opioid Crisis Worse

March 24th, 2018

By Marlene Cimons

America’s opioid epidemic has dominated the news media in recent years, as drug overdose deaths have escalated, decimating lives and families. And while climate change may not be top of mind in discussions about how to effectively deal with this crisis, it’s a factor that shouldn’t be ignored. Global warming spawns extreme weather, which begets destruction and despair, a dangerous scenario for people looking for a way to numb their emotional pain.

“It is reasonable to expect that damage and destruction cause emotional and mental health problems and lead to drug abuse, both new and existing users,” said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics at Pennsylvania State University. “There are long-lasting effects of such calamities, and they do not tend to diminish.”

His data, which examined the trends for all U.S. counties over four decades, show an increase in drug-related deaths associated with natural disasters, particularly in rural areas. “Given that, in the United States, climatic disasters dominate disaster declarations and some of them — precipitation, floods, droughts — may become more frequent and intense due to climate change, our results do indicate we may see increased deaths from opioids, all else unchanged,” he said.

Read more:

See – the solution to the US opioid crisis is to build more wind turbines and solar installations, and to provide more funding for climate research.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 8:03 am

The solution is simple.
Ban Bic lighters!

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 8:05 am

And spoons, don’t forget spoons! That’s a twofer, not only does it prevent opioid deaths, it stops obesity!

Reply to  Severian
March 24, 2018 1:42 pm

Ban media scare stories about the climate. Drive anyone idiot enough to believe them to drink or drugs.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 10:25 am

Ban high capacity, semi-auto matches!

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 24, 2018 11:09 am


Reply to  Tom Halla
March 24, 2018 11:26 am

Better ban those high capacity boxes of wooden matches as well.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 24, 2018 5:17 pm


Pop Piasa
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 10:49 am

On a “less lighter” note, maybe they should quit teaching kids that heroin and cannabis are equally dangerous. They try pot and decide it was all BS, so if mom’s pills help her feel good, I’ll feel even better on them. Then comes the ‘cool’ friend with the free samples…

Reply to  Pop Piasa
March 24, 2018 4:22 pm

If you want a good laugh do look up the now very old film “Reefer Madness” on YouTube.
Good point with the “friend” by the way….

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 12:10 pm

Ban the metric system!
Doing drugs has taught it to generations of good unsuspecting American kids.

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 24, 2018 9:29 pm

It’s actually the gloom and doom imposed on the public and the younger generation that will cause the depression and efforts to relieve the depression. We should charge the climate alarmists with purposely favoring drug (ab)use.

James Bull
Reply to  higley7
March 24, 2018 10:01 pm

They’ve taken peoples jobs away in the name of saving the planet and then wonder why they get depressed and turn to drugs etc. That’s part of why they hate Trump so much he’s giving people hope for the future instead of doom and gloom.
James Bull

March 24, 2018 8:04 am

Oh for cripes sake. This is getting out of hand, pick a topic, any topic, that’s something “bad” and climate change is making it worse. Climate change will bring on more school shootings! Climate change will make more teens eat Tide pods!
1. Claim climate change will make the cause de jour worse.
2. ?
3. Profit!

Reply to  Severian
March 24, 2018 9:28 am

climate change will reduce human intelligence. That is already happening.

Reply to  Greg
March 24, 2018 9:39 am


Pop Piasa
Reply to  Severian
March 24, 2018 11:49 am

Step 2 should be Pal Review.

Reply to  Severian
March 24, 2018 5:45 pm

Mind-herding the Sheeple is a growth industry. Follow the money.

Steve Keohane
March 24, 2018 8:08 am

Having the gov’t and MSM tell scary lies about climate does exacerbate the opiod epidemic.

Reply to  Steve Keohane
March 24, 2018 9:42 am

+1 A very big contributing factor.
Kill energy, kill jobs, scare the heck out of the low information folk,
…What could possibly go wrong?

Reply to  Steve Keohane
March 24, 2018 5:26 pm

“Kill energy, kill jobs, scare the heck out of the low information folk, What could possibly go wrong?”
A lot of people die and the population is reduced. OTOH, they may think that is a feature of the system and not a bug.

Dave O.
March 24, 2018 8:16 am

The climate isn’t changing much, at least not any more than usual, but human behavior is changing a lot. Now we cope with anything out of the ordinary by taking mind altering drugs rather than confronting a situation and dealing with it in a rational manner.

Reply to  Dave O.
March 24, 2018 9:40 am

While depriving people of pain relief who really need it because—well, because we can.

Bruce Cobb
March 24, 2018 8:18 am

“…climatic disasters….may become more frequent and intense due to climate change”
1. What the frack are “climatic disasters” – oh wait, I know – they mean “extreme weather”. It’s one of their favorite lies, that “extreme weather” aka “weird weather” aka “any type of weather beyond what is “normal” (whatever that is). Sorry, climate kookaloos, but no, unusual weather hasn’t become any more commonplace, and saying “it may” is completely meaningless, and unscientific. Pigs may also sprout wings and fly.

Mark from the Midwest
March 24, 2018 8:22 am

The current opioid crisis is a direct impact of Obama era policies, chronic underemployment and wage stagnation, lack of enforcement and border security, and on and on. Add to it that health care providers over-prescribed pain killers in order to enhance their satisfaction scores, as required by HHS under Obamacare.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
March 24, 2018 4:26 pm

A most excellent set of points.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
March 24, 2018 6:29 pm

Sorry Mark, it may be emotionally satisfying to blame Obama for everything, but Canada has an equal opioid crisis and we did it all on our own, with no help from your former president. Just drug companies making painkillers freely available, and then our elders and betters deciding that they should not be freely available any more because (gosh, who’da thought it?) they are addictive. You might choose to have a predictable wee rant about socialized medicine in Canada but that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Cheap fentanyl as a replacement for expensive oxycontin has a lot to do with it too, turning a crisis into a “crisis” because it’s so easy to o/d on fentanyl, whereas before it was just untold misery among people who don’t matter any more because they are addicts, so they must be criminals.
I do know whereof I speak. I personally knew two respectable working people who were involved in road accidents and went all the way downhill from percocet to oxycontin to fentanyl to early graves. One took 15 years and the other fast-tracked it in three.
“You’ve been abusing it, so I can’t prescribe it any more”, is the line from self-righteous doctors that usually starts normal people on the downward path towards being social rejects and premature corpses.

Tom in Florida
March 24, 2018 8:22 am

That’s an opiod induced conclusion.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 24, 2018 11:56 am

That reminds me of the poor fella’s plight in this song.

Timo Soren
March 24, 2018 8:23 am

CG causes Bad Weather causes Destruction causes emotional pains causes more opioid use; verifiable since we have seen increased opioid use especially in the rural areas.
Wow deep thoughts, too bad the first implication is false. Hence the chain of pretty petty assumptions gets wacked and it pretty much will be ignored.
I suspect the only thing they have done is confirmed opioid use is increasing.

Linda Goodman
March 24, 2018 8:27 am

Climate change will destroy everything but the kitchen sink.

Reply to  Linda Goodman
March 24, 2018 8:41 am

Wrong, wrong, wrong! The kitchen sink also contributes to climate change and must go.

March 24, 2018 8:38 am

Unpublished study, presented at a meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Association.
Study does find that deaths spiked after the introduction of fentanyl into the heroin supply stream….which just happens to coincide with the upkick in the opiod crisis everywhere….with deaths skyrocketing due to the introduction of cheap fentanyl into the heroin supply.
Federal efforts cracking down on the leaks in the pain-medication stream has forced addicted users over into the far more dangerous heroin/fen street drugs — resulting in overdoses.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
March 24, 2018 9:32 am

One solution to the fentanyl problem is to stop using Narcan except for law enforcment accidentally exposed to fentanyl. The opioid problem will then clear itself up in a Darwinian fashion. Much of the problem is self inflicted.
Another more serious solution is to stop prescribing opioids for chronic pain, because that is where medically induced addiction starts based on a massive new clinical,outcomes study showing non-addicitve pain relievers were just as effective for chronic pain. There is a lot of clinical evidence that limited opioids for acute pain (e.g. post surgical for just a few days) are not addicitve.

Reply to  ristvan
March 24, 2018 11:58 am

“show an increase in drug-related deaths associated with”….and wide open southern border with a third world sh1thole

Reply to  ristvan
March 24, 2018 12:29 pm

The older I get, the more I find that most big pharma drugs are easily replaced by less intrusive substitutes. After an operation (kidney donor), I did have morphine once, which was a godsend at the time.
Nowadays its Ibuprofen or CBD depending on the amount of ache.
Cholesterol is handled by Citrus Bergamot and not statins.
Also an occasional belt of scotch when the weather is good.

Reply to  ristvan
March 24, 2018 3:04 pm

Hey, Canada ain’t that bad. At least not yet.

Smart Rock
Reply to  ristvan
March 24, 2018 6:40 pm

Good on ya, ristvan. They’re addicts so let them die. Why didn’t I think of that?
(that’s a rhetorical question, and the answer is, because i know quite a few of them and they’re just people)

Tom Halla
Reply to  Smart Rock
March 24, 2018 6:48 pm

I’m rather libertarian, and most drug problems arose from laws against drugs. Just how bad were drugs in the 19th Century, before any of the current drug laws were in place?
Perhaps allowing gum opium or low strength laudanum would take the edge off addicts, with a much lower chance of overdose.

Robert Beckman
Reply to  ristvan
March 25, 2018 9:14 am

The fentanyl “problem” is that it’s being adulterated into other things because it’s cheap to synthesize in a small scale lab, not that it’s being oversupplied by the pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Think of it this was: suppose you’re a mid-sized drug dealer and you have the choice to sell your “clients” heroin like they ask for at the normal profit margin, or a rental mix at one-hundredth the cost per dose to you (but you sell it at the same price, of course), with the added benefit that their high will last a tenth as long and so they’ll have to buy more often.
Any rational drug dealer would sell the fentanyl mix (we already know your morals allow heroin sales, so we’re talking marginal rationality).
The fentanyl problem is that a small mismeasurement – where small is measured in micrograms – will kill your client.
The frequency with which actual pain patients switch to street drugs (excluding marijuana) is vanishingly small – except when their physicians cease treating their pain because of the quotas from the DEA.

Reply to  ristvan
March 26, 2018 6:47 am

ristvan ==> There is a pubic health narrative that blames the “opioid epidemic” on physician prescribed pain medication. A lot of confirmation-biased research has been done to “prove it”. (A lot like CliSci.)
It is true that those with additive personalities seek out addictive substances, wherever and however they can get them — nicotine, alcohol, pot, “pills” (of all kinds — uppers, downers, pain killers, opioids…) …. some are introduced to opioids inadvertently through pain medication given for proper medical uses. But research does not show that the majority of the addicted take that route — in that they are not just everyday people who , because their doctor treated their broken bone pain with an opioid, have become addicted to opioids.
That is, however, the public health narrative — of which you speak.
There is a swinging pendulum in the medical world concerning pain treatment — swinging from compassion to neglect and back again.
The deaths from opiods mostly results from two societal factors: 1) Suicide — people used to kill themselves with sleeping pills, now they use opioid pain killers 2) Drug pushers have found that cheap fentanyl-class compounds not only can be used to cut heroin, but add to the kick and please customers. Unfortunately, fen is so powerful, that slight overmixing and overdosing kills.
The Opioid Epidemic is a Medical Scientific Controversy — subject to a lot of Group-Think and Counter-Group-Think — agencies and advocacy groups taking sides and firing off barrages of papers at one another.
I wouldn’t recommend taking sides too early.

Peta of Newark
March 24, 2018 8:43 am

This is the flaw in their argument….

There are long-lasting effects of such calamities, and they do not tend to diminish.

You’ll have to take my word on this, or do your own homework, but a study was done here in the UK I think on folks who has suffered ‘trauma’ in the past.
It was, as I recall, a little bit sneaky and involved doctors in the course of routine visits from their clients.
What would happen was that the doctor would, in the course of normal ‘chat’, mention something ‘awful’ that had happened and was reported widely in the main stream media.
Doctor might say ‘Oh wasn’t it awful what happened to that woman in the park last week?’ and then gauge the response. That was all there was to it.
Of course, most doctor’s clients tend to be women, (targets of sex attacks) and in almost EVERY case of when that question was asked (about the recent rape) the girl’s response went along the lines.
“Oh God yes. Wasn’t it awful, I’m so glad nothing like that has ever happened to me”
Here is where modern tech comes in, police records and all.
Even though it was on police/court/criminal record that a girl had been attacked, and she’d reported it, 15, 20 or 25 years ago, she’d give that ‘Oh God I’m so glad etc’ response in 90%+ of the times she’d be asked.
It is a strange thing the human mind innit…….
So we really do know how brutish and short lives were in times gone by? Huh.
Or what the Little Ice Age was actually like for folks who lived through it?
Then these university clowns reveal complete zero self awareness – it might be their incessant bleating causing the problem?
And lazy buck passing doctors handing out those pills like so much confetti.
Now, where do you go to learn medicine – playschool obviously.
Oh noe, but we’re all soooooooo intelligent these days, we know that because we keep telling each other.
Positive feedback death spiral anyone?

March 24, 2018 8:44 am

Robert Gates had a pungent phrase to describe effusions like this: “Unusually stupid.”

Dodgy Geezer
March 24, 2018 8:50 am

Climate change will make Fine Art worse…..
A $20,000 study done by some friends of the grant committee has found that increased temperatures will make oil paints less viscous, and hence less able to reproduce delicate patterns….more research is needed…

F. Ross
March 24, 2018 8:51 am

This is redundant information.
We already know hat “climate change” makes EVERYTHING worse.

March 24, 2018 9:12 am

See… here is the sad thing, goats. It is sad that people actually get paid to write this tripe. And it is sad that the gullible read it, and integrate it into their dinner-party talking points. AND it is sad that almost-noone is calling out that if drug-use is weakly correlated to post calamity emotional response, then what about the other side?
What response then is expected from the increased number of clement days with the much ballyhooed global warming? What response is expected from depressed (affordable) food pricing due to CO₂ atmospheric fertilization? What response to the reduced number of near-homeless destitute people winter deaths? What response to the lengthened non-winter seasons?
I’m done.

March 24, 2018 9:35 am

As a graduate of Penn State, I cringe every time I see someone representing this once-great university beclown themselves.

michael hart
Reply to  secryn
March 24, 2018 10:14 am

I’m beginning to feel embarrassed for being born in Philadelphia.

Michael Jankowski
March 24, 2018 9:51 am

The action of people like Mikey Fraudpants are much more likely to drive me to drug use.
Additionally, what about the despair that arises from cold weather? Higher electricity bills? Higher taxes? Re-distributing wealth to other nations?

michael hart
March 24, 2018 10:13 am

There’s nothing quite like the smack of conceited environmentalism.

Samuel C Cogar
March 24, 2018 10:36 am

Excerpted from published article:

His data, ….. (Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics at Pennsylvania State University) …… which examined the trends for all U.S. counties over four decades, show an increase in drug-related deaths associated with natural disasters, particularly in rural areas.

Well now, iffen he, Stephen G, had just ask me, I could have told him that little “tidbit” of fact without me having to conduct a money-wasting study.
Over the past four decades, drug usage by teenagers and under-35 adults has increased so dramatically that one could be hard-pressed to find very many persons in the aforenoted “present day” age group that aren’t guilty of trying/using drugs, let alone the number of persons that are truly addicted to said.
So “DUH”, iffen there has been a horrendous increase in drug usage over the past 4 decades, then common sense and intelligent reasoning should tell one that there would also be an increase in drug-related deaths during the same period, ……. with a “spike” in said deaths during natural disasters simply because the “druggies” who are on a “trip” when said disaster occurs ….. are not conscious enough to “get in out of the rain”, …… let alone capable of realizing a “disaster” is occurring or about to occur, …… and/or could care less iffen the world around them was in a deadly upheaval/uproar or not.
And the primary reason that “rural areas” are more prone to “drug related deaths” is the fact that due to the low population numbers in rural areas, …. it delays the reporting of an “overdose” situation, ……. and/or the distance Emergency Service personnel must travel to administer aid to said “overdose” cases, ……. and/or the distance said “overdose” cases must be transported in order to be treated by a medical facility. In rural areas, iffen you are lucky, it could take 30 to 45+ minutes before a 911 EMS Responder arrives on the “scene”.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 25, 2018 3:52 am

The morning after Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin at Christmas 1974, some hippies, as they were then called, were seen and heard walking along a battered street saying words like “What a trip, No way I will ever touch that stuff again.” I mention this cameo because of why? Because faulty perception and attribution is rife among climate researchers, many seeming to be high on their imagined hypotheses and desires to save the world.
p.s. In the case of Darwin, it was several days before Responders arrived on the scene. Geoff.

Tom in Florida
March 24, 2018 12:19 pm

I think more people tend to get depressed while suffering in the throes of cold, overcast winters than those of us who pass the winters in relative warm sunshine sipping margaritas. Viva la Warming!!

March 24, 2018 12:54 pm

I could get depressed over the amount of money that gets spent on the twaddle produced by people who spend their working days cooking up excuses for their existence by publishing twaddle.
But then, if someone asks me about some “terrible whatsis that happened to whosis last week, I’d respond with ‘what are you talking about?’. Since I don’t have a working TV and get most of my news from either the local daily or online resources, my goal is to upset their apple carts. That would destroy the whole line of questioning, wouldn’t it?
There was a news item last week (I think) that one manufacturer of opioids is no longer going to produce them. I doubt it will change anything. People who want to get high because they feel “nothing” or “can’t handle stress” will just get their junk from some other source. But I think this is what happens when children are taught to never, ever express their emotions at all, just maintain an even strain, everything is just fine, nothing is wrong….
Excuse me, but the 1980s are crawling off the walls now. 🙂

F. Leghorn
March 24, 2018 2:10 pm

And CAGW causes people to ignore child molesters too.
/sarc (I think)

Doug Huffman
March 24, 2018 2:20 pm

End the War On Drugs. The herd needs thinning and druggies will be an effecacious beginning.

March 24, 2018 2:53 pm

If I was a third rate , at best , academic that had found themselves a very easy life idea , where as long as I supported the party line I would push out any old rubbish with out having to worry about the hard work that goes into good science. I would be tempted to defend it to.

March 24, 2018 3:13 pm

Personally as a reformed smoker now vaper I think we should have all stuck with nicotine now it’s no longer necessary to imbibe it via burnt vegetable matter but hey what would I know?

March 24, 2018 4:09 pm

Another reason OD deaths can spike:
Experienced dealers will cut the real drugs with cheap fillers to increase their profits. When the addicts switch dealers, because their regulars were busted or because some wide-eyed newcomer is claiming to offer better dope at a cheaper price, they can OD on a purer mix when they prep and inject the same amount as before, solely out of habit.

March 24, 2018 4:41 pm

There could be something to this. Wasn’t the Pussy March on crack?

March 24, 2018 8:05 pm

Nice to see the link between climate hysteria and mental illness…maybe this will be in the next revision to the DSM…

March 24, 2018 9:43 pm

Climate Change will make everything everywhere worse!
Now they are saying it will even make red heads go extinct:
“vanishing redheads
March 24, 2018 by admin
Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible. But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries.
Dr Alistair Moffat, managing director of Galashiels-based ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate.”
The Mirror(UK), 6 Jul 2014”

March 25, 2018 6:59 am

Climate Change is even ruining auto racing (and beer sales).
“NASCAR Cup, Truck series races at Martinsville postponed due to snow”
“This marks the first Cup Series race to be postponed by snow since March 1993 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

March 25, 2018 1:10 pm

Please stop 🛑 send me messages

Sent from my iPhone

Joel Snider
March 26, 2018 9:58 am

Well, opioids are trendy right now. When the next scary thing cooks up, I’m sure that will be made worse by climate change as well.
If aliens invaded the planet tomorrow, climate change will make it even worse.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights