Opinion: Deaths of despair: the unrecognized tragedy of working class immiseration

Given the socioeconomic effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it should have come as no surprise that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, a 28.5% increase over the prior year. Most of these deaths were attributed to the use of synthetic opioids by middle-aged white men. The question immediately begged is: What is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) doing about these so-called deaths of despair?

The answer is sobering.

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