American Self-haters Gave Trump the Keys to the Kingdom

photo by Carol Duff

Health Editor’s Note: Trump had his largest numbers of voters in counties where the rates of alcohol, drug,  and suicide-related mortality were the highest. This is a reflection of the self-loathing felt by those who chronically use prescription opioids.  America had such a huge chunk of its society suffering from so much pessimism, that they voted for a freak. They were desperate to find relief from their despair, whatever its cause.

Excessive opioid use is a sign of both social and economic issues and Trump played to those who were already suffering.  So now we have a president who was elected by those who were so desperate that they lost all hope and their common sense and now they have reason to be in deeper despair as our gas prices are skyrocketing for no real economic reason, Trump plays childish games with countries who have or do not have nuclear weapons, Trump makes himself and America a laughing stock of the world, Trump encourages hatred of other nations/nationalities, Trump is incompetent at managing any world relationship, Trump speaks out of both sides of his mouth, Trump encourages religious discrimination, Trump will mindlessly tweet us into our next world war, Trump keeps the pervasive feeling of fear alive with rumors of cuts to sections of government that keep people alive with their assistance, Trump has put us into the trade “toilet”, Trump had no real business background and I will mention again, his horrible positions on immigration, less regulation for big business, throws away any reigns on environmental controls, gives away federal land, and rather than go on with Trump’s selfish acts, just a plain horrible moral character. Our last presidential “election” was in no way an election and when you play on people’s feelings of hopelessness, for whatever the reason, you (Trump) are lower than the lowest. Shame on you!..Carol

High Opioid-Use Counties Voted Trump in 2016

Opioids are symptom, symbol of ‘larger social and economic problems’

by Elizabeth Hlavinka, MedPage Today Intern

Counties with the highest rates of chronic prescription opioid use were far more likely to back Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, a new study of Medicare claims data found.

Trump took 59.96% of the vote in the 693 counties with opioid prescription rates significantly higher than the national average among counties, compared with 38.67% of the vote in the 638 counties with rates significantly lower than the mean, reported James Goodwin, MD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch Sealy Center on Aging, and colleagues in JAMA Network Open.

The cross-sectional study found that a county’s vote for Trump correlated with the adjusted rate of Medicare Part D enrollees receiving long-term opioid prescriptions (intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.42, P<0.001). As a control for specificity, they also looked at insulin prescriptions but found no correlation with voting patterns.

“Opioids are a symptom and a symbol of much larger social and economic problems, and those social and economic problems came to bear during the 2016 election,” Shannon Monnat, PhD, Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University in New York, told MedPage Today.

Monnat, who was not involved in the current study, reported shortly after the 2016 election that Trump also over-performed in counties with the highest rates of drug-, alcohol- and suicide-related mortality, all of which are tied together by pessimism, frustration and despair, she said.

“What seems to be coming through pretty consistently in this research now is at the core of substance misuse and the overdose crisis is really disconnection and isolation,” she said. “Work, family, community — those are the three most important arenas through which we assign meaning in our lives.”

The current study from Goodwin’s group examined the association between voting patterns in 3,100 of 3,142 U.S. counties and the rate of chronic opioid use among 20% (3,764,361) of all Medicare Part D enrollees. In high-use counties — which were concentrated mostly in the South and Appalachian areas –greater than 20.10% of Medicare Part D enrollees studied had opioid prescriptions for 90 days or more compared with 10.85% of those in low-use counties.

The authors noted that approximately two-thirds of the association found in the study can be attributed to socioeconomic characteristics — particularly income disparities, disability and unemployment — but that presumably all of the association between opioid use and voting patterns could be explainable by “socioeconomic, legal, environmental, and cultural factors” if more data were available.

The high opioid-use counties were more likely to be rural, have more unemployment (9.48% versus 8.13%), and had a larger proportion of the population comprised of non-Hispanic whites (85% versus 79%). The median household income was lower in these counties ($45,268 versus $60,577 in low opioid-use counties; P<0.001 for all).

In a general sense, opioid users and Trump voters shared economic stressors and the sense of being isolated, forgotten or overlooked, Goodwin told MedPage Today. Individuals in these communities were dissatisfied with the status quo and wanted radical change, he said.

Monnat added that these counties contain fewer social and recreational facilities and are also characterized by higher levels of family distress — more single-parent families, higher divorce rates — which can contribute to the use of opioids.

“Given that both candidates focused on opiate addiction as a major campaign issue, it is difficult to infer that opiate prescription rates are somehow linked with voting behavior based on the candidates’ respective campaign promises and/or platforms,” wrote James Niels Rosenquist, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in a commentary that accompanied the study, who added that the study “findings add to a growing body of literature showing the interrelationship between public (mental) health and society, including the all-important economic and political realms.”

“When you discuss the opioid epidemic, it is discussed in public health terms and the solutions tend to be public health solutions such as education, prevention, and treatment centers, which are critically important,” Goodwin said. “If there’s an implication of our study it’s that we have to broaden our discussion and understanding about some of the issues behind the opioid crisis.”

Eighteen percent of the Medicare recipients in the study were younger than 65 years, and 60.6% were female; 81.1% were non-Hispanic white, 9.3% were non-Hispanic black, and 5.3% were Hispanic.

Among those ages 65 and older, chronic opioid users were more likely to be disabled (OR 2.72), have end-stage renal disease (OR 1.37), or have one or more comorbidities (OR 3.64 for three or more), and more frequently were women (15.2% versus 11.9%).

Study limitations included the fact that associations were made at a county level between the presidential vote and opioid use, instead of at an individual level. However, Gallup interviews with county residents found that community feelings of poverty and poor health were equally if not more influential in voting patterns than individual economic factors, proving the importance of such contextual effects on opioid use. Additionally, prescriber behavior and the use of non-prescription opioids (which are the cause of half of opioid-related deaths), were not examined.

Goodwin reported no disclosures. Co-authors reported relationships with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, and the American College of Medical Toxicology.

Primary Source

JAMA Network Open

Source Reference: Goodwin JS, et al “Association of chronic opioid use with presidential voting patterns in us counties in 2016” JAMA Network Open 2018;1(2):e180450.

Secondary Source

JAMA Network Open

Source Reference: Rosenquist JN “The opiates and the (voting) masses” JAMA Network Open 2018;1(2):e180451.

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  1. Hillary was a key player in 9.11….the HUGE blind spot at VT.

    Sure….VT wants us to ignore the hildabeast’s traitorous crimes and cry about electing Trump. No F-ing way….for as bad as he is, he isn’t the NEO darling that Hilda (key position as NY Senator) was, to carry out 9.11 or God knows what, if she had been elected.

    • Entirely Drug free …..except during an incredibly painful ruptured appendix a few years back.

      “American Self-haters”…..what a pile of dung.

    • Hillary had nothing to do with 9-11 and you’re either tragically misinformed or yet another paid troll.

    • Nope, you’re absolutely incorrect, we simply report the truth and if that doesn’t fit with your preconceived misconceptions then you assume something is wrong with us when quite to the contrary, it is you who has it all wrong.

    • So I’m a self hating opioid abuser, misinformed and or a troll, that is completely wrong about Hillary. Gee, as reader of VT that has never considered himself to be any of these things, it’s good to know where I stand. Thanks.

  2. No matter what Ms. Duff thinks, Hillary Clinton would have been one of the worst–and many of us just wanted to vote for someone who was not a politician. I am so very sick of parasitic politicians that suck the life out of everything getting lifelong careers lying to the American people every few years and getting reelected.
    PS: Clinton also appears to be a sick woman. She fell twice not long ago. She has a history of falling ever since she was Secretary of State.

    • PPS: I’m not a self-hater. Never been an abuser of alcohol, drugs, pills, quit smoking after 13 years. I’m 86 years old, need a new hip joint but too old for the operation. Also have a bad heart. Worked and volunteered till I turned 80 and had to quit driving. Have not lived in a low class neighborhood except for 2 years when I rented in California. Quite a few nice people lived there too because of high rents.

  3. First of all a correlation does not make a causality.

    Secondly the author omits the illegal drug consumption from her comparison, e.g. crack, heroin and crystal meth. It seems that the rural population is just more honest & law-abiding by resorting to legal escapes from reality.

  4. I just listened to the Ron Paul Liberty Report with an interview of John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute. A very well done synopsis of the burgeoning police state and that those who sit on the Bench don’t know the first thing about the Bill of Rights.
    The worst part of it is that so many Americans, the majority neither have a clue nor do they care as long as they have sports to watch and celebrity news gossip to chat over.
    tRump is accelerating the police surveillance state into new heights. Things that most Americans have no idea exists or is being done. Do they care? Are they pacified? Are they so willing to accept the total loss of freedom and liberty for the illusion of safety? It appears that too many are willing to do just that.
    The last presidential election proved one thing: the entire process is totally controlled for the benefit of the state and not the people of the Republic.

  5. Recent surgery for a ventral hernia; I took 3 oxycontin 5 mg with tylenol and said to hell with the rest because I hate tylenol. Of course you are still offered more opioids, go figure. We are a nation of pussies; forgive me I have to go, my vagina is in pain.

  6. No matter what you say or even what happens Hillary Clinton would have been worse. Also, if you try “President Pence” on for size, how does that make you feel?

  7. Alt-right brains . . . everything is based on banal emotions. There is no critical thinking. There is no deep thinking. I believe their long-term memories are altered by the low gravitational frequencies they are used to, which flow through their tell-a-visions, and radios. They are brain-washed beyond help. Consumers.
    T.V., movie, news programming — it’s called PROGRAMMING for a reason.
    It’s all negative. And that’s done on purpose.
    While disguised as “entertainment” it is nothing more than PROGRAMMING aimed to get people to have low-level anxiety. Which will then create a need to “fix” their unhappiness.
    The “talk to your doctor about . . . ” isn’t created to actually talk to your doctor about anything. These ads are created, and broadcast over and over and over again to let US know . . . YOU ARE NOT WELL. YOU NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION. The disclosures about the “side” affects are made to further the negative anxiety.
    And then . . . happy, happy, happy ads, peppered into the PROGRAMMING.
    New cars, fast food, clothing, vacation get-aways . . . they are all made to get you to BUY your happiness.
    American’s can’t be happy unless they BUY something to eat, drink, or be merry . . .
    We’ve become so PROGRAMMED — so far away from the Garden — we can’t even find our happiness unless they sell it to us.
    Try to milk a cow and drink its milk — SWAT will show us how free we are.

    • The folks that have not developed their left brain skills . . . and there’s a lot of them here in Freedumb loving America . . . who haven’t graduated high school . . . will be more affected by these enter-trap-ments. The food they are told to crave . . . are PROGRAMMED into thinking they’ll be happy . . . the happy meal?!? . . . is creating dis-ease within them. OBESITY,DIABETES, DEPRESSIONS . . . and then they go to get the “Ask your doctor about” pills. They have no idea what is happening to them . . . they hate everything . . . including themselves.
      1 Corinthians 6:20
      This is what we do to our “temple”???
      We RUIN IN . . .

  8. The correlation between the use of opioids and Trumps voters seems a bit of a stretch but it seems to be on par with a lot of endemic social problems many Americans are facing today. In some areas of the country unemployment is closer to 24%. Multiply the problem with uncontrolled immigration which adds more pressure on public services and cities and counties run out of money.
    The choice between the two candidates made voting a loathsome task. Neither one was qualified. So what did the people have to choose from? Either that or stay home in protest, as I did. So now what we are facing are rising prices for all consumer goods thanks to the tariffs being in place. Rising oil prices, threats of more war and that tRump is nothing more than a useful idiot/ stooge for israel. He is terrible at foreign policy, terrible for trade policies and may possibly bring about a trade war with China and Europe. His actions will lead to America becoming isolated.

  9. First time in my 50 years of voting that I could not in good conscience vote for either candidate. A war criminal or an idiot. I won’t vote next time either for we all know who is running the show. And in South Carolina, the mere mention of those folks will get you a hate crime charge. We are so screwed. Gerard Menuin’s well documented book, “Tell the truth, shame the devil” should be mandatory reading for the sheeple. It is available free to download online. It corrects the history of the victors and explains in no uncertain terms who the bad guys are.

  10. Nice try. Trump won because Hillary Clinton was the worse possible candidate in the history of politics.
    Let it go.

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