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The Culprit Is Likely a Combination of Covid Hysteria and Covid Restrictions

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:


Reporting on the 29-percent spike in drug-overdose deaths from May 2020 through April 2021, Jon Kamp and Julie Wernau make only a single vague allusion to lockdowns (“Drug Overdose Deaths, Fueled by Fentanyl, Hit Record High in U.S.,” November 17). The headline and much of the content of their report create the impression that this spike was caused chiefly by fentanyl.

Yet during this 12-month period fentanyl and opioids were no more able under their own volition to enter human bodies than they were pre-Covid. An unbiased report on this spike in overdose deaths would explicitly emphasize the high probability that major contributing factors were the 24/7/365 fear-mongering which blew Covid’s dangers utterly out of proportion, combined with governments’ unprecedented disruption of human life – disruption that suddenly destroyed jobs, hid our distinctive individualities behind masks, and thwarted the personal and intimate interactions of neighbors, friends, and families.

These government-imposed obstructions, along with unwarranted hysteria, turned reality dystopian. It’s no wonder that many more people sought escape through the use of drugs.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030