Climate change could make the opioid crisis worse, a Penn State University professor claims.
According to CleanTechnica:
In 2016, more than 63,600 Americans died from drug overdoses, triple the 1999 rate. The overprescribing of opioid painkillers largely is driving this spike in deaths. But experts suggest that other things also are at work — including the effects of climate change.
Scientists who have been studying opioid deaths across the country believe that socioeconomic factors and natural disasters should become part of any national conversation about how to tackle America’s wave of opioid deaths. In recent years, global warming has fueled a growing number of turbulent weather events that have taken a grim toll on the human psyche.
“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.”
And perhaps, Professor Goetz’s co-author goes on to suggest, Hurricane Katrina might be the reason so many more people started taking opioids in New Orleans…
The incidence of drug deaths in New Orleans, for example, between 1999 and 2004 was 3.45 drug deaths per 100,000 people, a rate that rose to 16.1 between 2005 — when Hurricane Katrina struck — and 2014, according to Meri Davlasheridze, assistant professor of marine sciences at Texas A&M, who is working with Goetz. Areas affected by Superstorm Sandy also showed a sharp increase in drug death rates after 2012, she said. “There are many factors that contributed to this rise, and disasters are one of them,” she said.
And here – courtesy of Numberwatch – is a short list of some of the other things that experts such as Goetz and Davlasheridze have claimed are caused by global warming:
AIDS, Afghan poppies destroyed, African holocaust, aged deaths, poppies more potent, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, aggressive weeds, Air France crash, air pockets, air pressure changes, airport farewells virtual, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Alaskan towns slowly destroyed, Al Qaeda and Taliban Being Helped, allergy increase, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic ice melt faster, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic tundra lost, Arctic warming (not), a rose by any other name smells of nothing, asteroid strike risk, asthma, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, barbarisation, bats decline, beer and bread prices to soar, beer better, beer worse, beetle infestation, beef shortage, bet for $10,000, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billion homeless, billions face risk, billions of deaths, bird loss accelerating, bird populations dying, bird strikes, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds decline (Wales), birds driven north, birds face longer migrations, birds on long migrations threatened, birds return early, birds shrink(Aus), birds shrink (USA), bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blackbirds threatened, Black Hawk down, blizzards, blood contaminated, blue mussels return, borders redrawn, bluetongue, brains shrink, brewers droop, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain one big city, Britain Siberian, Britain’s bananas, British monsoon, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, butterflies move north, butterflies reeling, butterfly saved, carbon crimes, caribou decline, Cambodian sex trade fuelled, camel deaths, cancer, cancer deaths in England, cannibalism, cataracts, cats more amorous, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, chagas disease, childhood insomnia, children’s mental health, chocolate shortage, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, clownfish get lost, coast beauty spots lost, cockroach migration, cod go south, coffee threatened, coffee berry borer, coffee berry disease, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells, cold spells (Australia), colder waters (Long Island), cold wave (India), cold weather (world), cold winters, computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral fish suffer, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink, coral reefs twilight, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, crabgrass menace, cradle of civilisation threatened, creatures move uphill, crime increase, crocodile sex, crocodiles driven from water, crops devastated, crop failures increase, cross-breeding, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, cryptococcal disease, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), damselflies forced back to UK, danger to kid’s health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, daylight increase, deadly virus outbreaks, death rate increase (US), death rate drop, deaths to reach 6 million, decades of progress at risk, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, dig sites threatened, disasters, diseases move north, diving reefs closed, dog disease, dozen deadly diseases – or not, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, dust doubles, earlier pollen season, Earth axis tilt, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth crumbling, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode,earth upside down, earthquakes, earthquakes redux, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, everyplace hit hardest, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (apes, human, civilisation, koalas, lizards, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, penguins, pikas, polar bears, possums, walrus, tigers, toads, turtles, pandas, penguins, plants, ladybirds, rhinoceros, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches, salamanders, tropical insects, flowers) experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, famine, farmers benefit, farmers go under, farm output boost, farming soil decline, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fires fanned in Nepal, fish bigger, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish deaf, fish feminised, fish get lost, fish head north, fish lopsided, fish shrinking, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flies on Everest, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, flora dispersed, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, flowers wilt, flying squirrels move up, fog increase in San Francisco, fog decrease in San Francisco, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food production increased, food safety affected, food security threat (SA), football team migration, forest decline, forest expansion, foundations threatened, foundations increase grants, frog with extra heads, frosts, frostbite, frost damage increased, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, fungi rot the world, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, geese decline in Hampshire, genetic changes, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, geysers imperiled, giant icebergs (Australia), giant icebergs (Arctic), giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacier grows (California), glaciers on Snowden, glacier wrapped, glass melts, global cooling, glowing clouds, golf course to drown, golf Masters wrecked, grain output drop (China), grain output stagnating (India), grandstanding, grasslands wetter, gravity shift, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, great tits cope, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, haggis threatened, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, health risks, health risks (even more), heart deaths, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hedgehogs bald, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, home runs, hornets, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health risk, human race oblivion, human rights violations, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hurricanes fewer, hurricanes more intense, hurricanes not, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, hyphthermia deaths, ice age, ice hockey extinct, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, icebergs, ice sheet tipping point, illegal immigration, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), indigestion, industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insect invasion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of alien worms, invasion of Antarctic aliens, invasion of Asian carp, invasion of cane toads, invasion of caterpillars, invasion of cats, invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of lampreys, invasion of midges, invasion of pine beetles, invasion of rats (China), invasion of slugs, island disappears, islands sinking, Italy robbed of pasta, itchier poison ivy, Japan’s cherry blossom threatened, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas leaves inedible, koalas under threat, krill decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, large trees decline, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers’ income increased (surprise surprise!), lawyers want more, legionnaires’ surge, lives lost, lizards super intelligent, lives saved, lobsters grow, Loch Ness monster dead, locust plagues suppressed, low oxygen zones threaten sea life, lush growth in rain forests, Lyme disease, Major vegetation shifts, Malaria, Malaria decline, malnutrition, mammoth dung melt, mammoth ivory bonanza, manatees battle, mango harvest fails, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marmots fatter, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Meat eating to stop, Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, Melanoma decline, mental health decline, mental illness, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Mexican climate migrant flood, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, milk production lost, minorities hit, monkeys at risk, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mosquitoes adapting, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountaineers fears, mountains break up, mountains green and flowering, mountains taller, mortality lower, Mubarak fall, murder rate increase, musk ox decline, Myanmar cyclone, narwhals at risk, narwhals suffocate, National Parks damaged, National security implications, native wildlife overwhelmed, natural disasters quadruple, neurological diseases, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, obesity, oblivion, ocean acidification, ocean acidification faster, ocean dead spots, ocean dead zones unleashed, ocean deserts expand, ocean salt extremes, ocean oxygen crisis, ocean waves speed up, Olympic Games to end, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, owls turn brown, oxygen depletion zones, oyster herpes, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, peat bogs problem, peat bogs no problem, penguin chicks frozen, penguin chicks smaller, penguins in the dark, penguin populations devastated, penguins replaced by jellyfish, penguins sex lives affected, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, pets in danger, phenology shifts, pines decline, pirate population decrease, pirates run rampant, plankton blooms, plankton plummeting, plankton wiped out, plants lose protein, plants march north, plants move uphill, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar bears fewer cubs, polar tours scrapped, pollination halved, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychiatric illness, psychological effects, puffin decline, pushes poor women into prostitution, rabid bats, radars taken out, rail network threatened, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rainforest destruction, rape wave, refugees, reindeer endangered, reindeer larger, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, respiratory diseases worsen, rice less fragrant, rice production fall, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, river flow impacted, river rerouted, rivers raised, road accidents, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, Russia under pressure, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, sardine run unpredictable, satellites accelerate, Schmallenberg virus, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, sea snot, seals mating more, seismic activity, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sexual dysfunction, sexual promiscuity, shark attacks, sharks booming, sharks hybridise, sharks moving north, sheep change colour, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrimp sex problems, shrinking ponds, shrinking sheep, shrinking shrine, Sidney Opera House wiped out, ski resorts threatened, slavery, skinks impacted, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall decrease, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snow thicker, soaring food prices, societal collapse, soil change, soil subsidence, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, soybean crop to drop, space junk increase, space problem, spectacular orchids, spider danger in UK, spider bites to increase, spiders getting bigger, spiders invade Scotland, squid aggressive giants, squid larger, squid population explosion, squid tamed, squirrels reproduce earlier, starfish sperm eaten by parasites, stingray invasion, storm damage costs rise, storms wetter, stratospheric cooling, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, sunset displaced, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tea flavour change, tectonic plate movement, teenage prostitution, terrorists (India), thatched cottages at risk, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tigers eat people, tigers drown, tomatoes rot, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, toxic bacteria, toxic seaweed, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, traffic jams, transport snarl, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, tree growth faster, trees grow too fast, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, trees on Antarctica, treelines change, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, truffles down, truffles increase, turtles crash, turtle feminised, turtles lay earlier, UFO sightings, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, vampire bats, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, volcanoes awakened in Iceland, walnuts threatened, walrus pups orphaned, walrus stampede, walruses come ashore, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, wasps, water bills double, water shortage to increase vegetarianism, wave of natural disasters, waves bigger, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weather patterns last longer, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whale beachings, whales lose weight, whales move north, whales wiped out, wheat rust in Syria, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wild boars thrive, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, winds stronger, winds weaker, wine – Australian baked, , wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine – more English, wine – no more French , wine – England too hot, wine -German boon, wine passé (Napa), wine – Scotland best, wine stronger, winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolverine decline, wolverines vanish, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, women cheat on vacation, workers laid off, World at war, World War 4, Yellow fever, zebra mussel threat, zoonotic diseases.