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Don’t blame addicts for America’s opioid crisis. Here are the real culprits | Chris McGreal

13/08/2017 Chris McGreal 0

America’s opioid crisis was caused by rapacious pharma companies, politicians who colluded with them and regulators who approved one opioid pill after another

Of all the people Donald Trump could blame for the opioid epidemic, he chose the victims. After his own commission on the opioid crisis issued an interim report this week, Trump said young people should be told drugs are “No good, really bad for you in every way.”

The president’s exhortation to follow Nancy Reagan’s miserably inadequate advice and Just Say No to drugs is far from useful. The then first lady made not a jot of difference to the crack epidemic in the 1980s. But Trump’s characterisation of the source of the opioid crisis was more disturbing. “The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place,” he said.

The amount of opioids prescribed in the US was enough for every American to be medicated 24/7 for three weeks”

It’s an epidemic because we have a business model for it. Follow the money

The Food and Drug Administration approved one opioid pill after another.

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The robot that staves off loneliness for chronically ill children

13/08/2017 Andrew Anthony 0

A Norwegian startup company has created an automaton that helps children with long-term sickness be part of normal life again

As a rule of thumb, the best ideas are the simplest. That’s easy to forget in an age of rapid technological innovation, when the tendency is to be led by capability rather than need.

For as Karen Dolva, co-founder of the Norwegian startup No Isolation, says: “There are a lot of engineers who don’t want to make something useful – they want to make something cool.”

I have security now because of AV1. She gave me hope in a very dark time

Related: How to reduce social isolation in an age of declining social care budgets

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why do men suffer depression in silence?

13/08/2017 Kevin Braddock 0

When Kevin Braddock hit rockbottom, he had every intention of killing himself. He recounts what happened next – and reveals why so few men ask for help

It was a Monday when Robin Williams killed himself three years ago – Monday 11 August 2014. His death was shocking even if in hindsight it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the world’s funniest man might also be the most sorrowful, too – a person despairing to the point of ending it all.

It’s a date I remember well, because I’d spent the previous day trying to do the same thing. I was in the psychiatric ward of the Berlin hospital which I’d been manhandled into by friends the day before, and I was waiting to see the doctor who’d asked me to promise that I wouldn’t kill myself.

Facebook allowed me to ask for help, but any recovering I’ve done has been social in the original sense of the word

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