|Photo: James Nachtwey|
Decades past, it used to be Black and Brown people in inner cities, now it's majority White people- all over the country, from rural enclaves to small towns and major cities. The opioid epidemic is, well- just that. Even Ultra-Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was addicted to OxyContin (often deploying his Hispanic maid to make the pick ups to avoid detection), and President Trump has ceremoniously declared the current US opioid problem a "National Health Emergency," but has not funded a single dollar more to help combat or alleviate it- despite the fact that it continues to worsen and intensify. Rush, a vocal proponent of punishment for drug abusers (who also lost his hearing due to his opioid abuse), never saw jail time- and I've yet to hear of any contributions from the multimillionaire to any drug rehab program.
Anyway... TIME magazine has (for the first time in its history) assigned one photographer to cover its lead and only story in its current issue. It would be well worth looking at if only to see this master photographer do what he does best, but it is particularly well worth reading and contemplating both the images and information concerning the enormity and magnitude of this very human catastrophe.
I chose the photograph above simply because it is a block I rather cautiously traverse (to avoid stepping on discarded needles) almost every day on the way to work- what you see above is a daily, ongoing scenario. Of course, Mr. Limbaugh would never ever equate himself with any of these unfortunates. His money bought his way out of jail, bought his way out of permanent deafness, bought his way out of the pain and public degradation that most addicts unlike himself have had to endure...