With Coronavirus cases resurging around the world, it’s time to address the pandemic’s hidden demons. It’s a well-known fact that the pandemic took its toll on mental health as much as it did on the physical one. Thus, people from around the world sought drugs as a refuge from the tiring reality, and numbers surged in alarming patterns.
“There’s sort of a perfect storm of factors that we know increase drug use,” says William Stoops, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral science, psychiatry, and psychology at the University of Kentucky. “People are more stressed and isolated, so they make unhealthy decisions, including drinking more and taking drugs.”
Between anxiety, depression, and COVID-19
Reports from all around the world have provided evidence for the increase in mental health illness during and after the lockdown. Moreover, though the world is trying to make it through the steady path of recovery, the road is still long ahead. The collapse of economies, the lingering fears of the unknown, a fatal, fast-spreading virus, and continuous isolation are, understandably, causing stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Drugs and substance usage offers an escape from all these unwanted feelings.
A Deeper Connection
On the other hand, the pandemic is causing all kinds of problems, worsening the problem. For example, with borders closing, the product supply decreased while the prices increased. Thus, instead of taking a timid kind of drug, a person would seek the stronger, more available kind.
Furthermore, with the health sector overwhelmed and understaffed, many services are no longer available. This causes an increase in self-medicating. “Physicians have been concentrating largely on COVID-19, and medical systems are overwhelmed, so people can’t always access the care they need,” says Stoops. “There’s also a stigma around substance use disorder that keeps people away from treatment, and even more so during a pandemic.”
An Increasing Problem Among Regulars
The International Journal of Drug Policy reported a high increase in the drug usage intake among regulars, as well as a spike in fear of relapse or overdose. In the survey, three-quarters of the participants admitted to increasing their drug intake. Moreover, half of the participants revealed that they either started using for the first time or relapsed during the pandemic,
“People who use drugs have been negatively impacted by the pandemic in ways that put them at greater risk for experiencing substance and health-related harms, including overdoses and a decreased ability to mitigate risk behaviors,” said lead study author Dr. Farihah Ali in a press release. “These findings warrant the need for increased accessibility of safe supply programs, take-home naloxone, and drug-testing kits, as well as novel approaches to help ensure they have the necessary tools available to make informed choices and mitigate risk.”
A surge in overdose
The pandemic also directly contributed to a surge in overdoses. According to ODMAP, a reporting system, overdoses in 2020 in the US increased by 18% since last year. The increasing trend is ongoing, with 40 U.S. states reporting an increase in opioid-related mortality incidents.
Moreover, the sudden disruption in the street supply of drugs is one of the main drivers behind these numbers. Not only did the pandemic cause street drugs scarcity, but it also made them more expensive and of unknown origins. In British Columbia, during the first four months of the pandemic, the number of illicit drug overdose deaths increased by 72%.
On the other hand, isolation also plays a part in the severity of overdoses. “Using alone itself was a real concern. We know that people who use alone are more likely to die of an overdose, in part because there is nobody there to administer naloxone or call emergency services,” stated Tara Elton-Marshall, Ph.D., an independent scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Institute for Mental Health Policy Research.
Business as usual
Despite the initial pandemic setbacks, the UN reports that drug trafficking is continuing stronger than ever. In 2020, almost 275 million people used drugs, with cannabis leading the charts. The pre-pandemic drug market evolved, using technology and cryptocurrency payments to facilitate transactions.
Ironically, the pandemic’s contactless regulations helped the market stand back at its feet. With online sales leading the market, global drug consumption increased. Thus, major drug markets on the dark web are now worth almost $315 million annually, according to UN findings.
Abramson. (2021). Substance use during the pandemic. APA. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/03/substance-use-pandemicCocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs -. (2018, June 28). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/06/1013072COVID pandemic fuelling a major increase in drug use worldwide: UN. (2021, June 26). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/06/1094672COVID-19’s far-reaching impact on global drug abuse. (2020, June 26). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1066992Skylar Kenney, Assistant Editor. (2021, April 27). COVID-19 Pandemic Results in Increased Substance Use Among Regular Drug Users. Pharmacy Times. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/covid-19-pandemic-results-in-increased-substance-use-among-regular-drug-users
To the peoples of the world: Israel is Carrying out a holocaust against Palestinian families
Yes, Israel is not sending Palestinians to gas chambers. But Israel is bringing Auschwitz and Mauthhausen to Palestinian homes, neighborhood, hospitals and mosques.
The title of this brief article is not a hyperbole or a dramatic overstatement meant to attract attention or gain sympathy. It is rather a reflection of reality.
Indeed, if a holocaust is about annihilating people, especially civilians and Palestinian families, the Israeli army, the Wehrmacht of our time, has been exterminating entire Palestinian families-the father, the mother and all the children.
We are not speaking about one isolated incident or a few incidents where one stray missile hit a home inadvertently or children killed as a result of collateral damage.
We are rather talking about carrying out a real holocaust against Palestinian families, an official policy endorsed and pursued by the government of Israel to wipe out numerous Palestinian households for the purpose of bringing the Palestinians to their knees.
This is Israel’s way of wreaking shock and awe on the defenseless and helpless Palestinians.
So far, more than 25 thousand entire Gaza households have been targeted by Israeli bombing. More than 12 thousands have been killed half of them are children and women.
Just imagine your own family being annihilated by a missile launched from high altitude. This nightmare has effectively become a routine experience in Gaza.
Israel today is emulating the Nazis and other criminal offenders throughout history. Don’t invoke the mantra of anti-Semitism. In the final analysis, when Jews think, behave and act like the Nazis thought, behaved and acted, they (the Jews) become Nazis themselves, pure and simple.
Yes, I do recognize there are many kind-hearted Jews who reject this Nazi-like savagery. None the less, we must call the spade a spade. These atrocities are being enthusiastically supported by the vast majority of Israelis, including ordinary people, intellectuals and rabbis. Israel-2023 does have much in common with Nazi-Germany. Claiming otherwise would be both dishonest and malicious.
Israel, a notorious professional liar whose agents control western media outlets from Sydney to California, is misleading the international community as to what is really happening in the Gaza Strip.
A regional military superpower thanks to unrestricted American backing and support, Israel is simply waging a war of extermination against a thoroughly persecuted people whose only “crime” is its enduring vigor and longing for freedom from the shackles of Talmudic Jewish Nazism, a Satanic ideology which views all humanity-save Jews-as animals whose lives have absolutely no sanctity.
There is no doubt that the ongoing Israeli rampage of murder and terror is an expression of that genocidal Talmudic mentality. It is a mindset that is even more nefarious than the Nazi ideology.
We Palestinians have been at the receiving end of Jewish criminality and murderousness for several decades. We know it too well and need no one to give us lectures on “Israel’s civility and humanity”
In the final analysis, a country that murders thousands of children and other innocent civilians rather knowingly and deliberately in order to create deterrence is neither civilized nor humane. It is tantamount to fornicating with truth to call Israel humane and civilized.
The truth of the matter is that Israel is a diabolical Judeo-Nazi entity that has much in common with the Third Rich.
Yes, Israel is not sending Palestinians to gas chambers. But Israel is bringing Auschwitz to Palestinian homes, neighborhoods and streets. Israel is carrying out a real holocaust against innocent Palestinian families.
This is not really a war. War is fought between armies. The Palestinians don’t have an army, or navy or air force. The Palestinians simply can not protect their own children from overwhelming barbarianism, played out in full view of the entire world.
Yes, there have been projectiles fired on Jewish colonies from the Gaza Strip, but these projectiles are essentially innocuous from the military view point as evident from the nearly zero casualties incurred by Israelis.
Indeed, when there is one dead on one side and 300 on the other side, including 50 children and babies, in addition thousands of maimed civilians and swathes of pornographic destruction of property, we are not really talking about war, even an asymmetrical war. We are actually talking about a real massacre, a massacre that is reminiscent of the time when the Nazis ganged up on European Jewry 70 years ago.
This very real massacre, holocaust, wouldn’t have been carried out had it not been for the flaccidity and leniency and silence displayed in Israel’s face by the bulk of the international community.
This is not to mention the connivance, collusion and conspiratorial roles played by several criminal states and governments, including the United States, a majority of European governments and especially the whore-like Sissi regime in Cairo which is shamelessly and brazenly siding with Israel against the Palestinian people.
But never mind, another massacre, another blitzkrieg, another conspiracy won’t finish our people off. It is our kismet that we must die in order to survive.
But those in Washington and London and Cairo who are watching rather passively, probably gleefully, as our children are being incinerated and murdered at the hands of the children, grand children and great-grand children of the holocaust, will one day pay the price for their murderous complicity and ignominy.
We will not forgive or forget.
Israel: A criminal state par excellance
In its exaggerated self-infatuation and excessive narcissism, Israel, a criminal state par excellence, often claims it is light upon mankind.
Zionist Jews, who falsely claim allegiance to the prophetic traditions of ancient Israel, are actually mostly atheists.
In fact, Zionism has more in common with the most infamous paragons of evil throughout history than with such Hebrew luminaries as the Prophet Moses, Aaron, Jacob, Joseph, David, and Solomon.
Indeed, ever since its misbegotten birth in 1948, a birth fraught with crimes against humanity, Israel’s modus operandi has been an uninterrupted series of atrocities, oppression, persecution, inequity, and racism.
Thus, Israel, A criminal state par excellence, is also a great falsifier of truth, history by claiming a higher moral ground vis-à-vis the Palestinians, its largely-unwept victims who are still crying to the seventh heaven for justice.
Israel is already starving and tormenting 1.6 million Gazans, denying them food, clean water, and other necessities of life. The 17-year draconian siege is apparently meant to punish Gazans for electing Hamas which simply refuses to recognize Israel for religious and moral reasons. The international community sought to overlook Israel’s real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly on some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a N-a-z-i-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.
Israel portrays herself as a beacon of light in a sea of dictatorship, tyranny, and oppression,
What Israel, a criminal state par Excellance, refuses to tell the world, however, is the fact that the Jewish state through its ubiquitous tentacles in America, Europe and elsewhere to enable, shield, sustain, and support tyrannical regimes in the region such as the Sissi police state in Egypt, the feudal regimes in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain.
Israel, a notorious professional liar whose agents control western media outlets from Sydney to California, is misleading the international community as to what is really happening in Jerusalem and in the Gaza Strip.
Israel, ruled by supremacist and megalomaniac Jews who think that no country or entity under the sun has a right to criticize Israel’s appalling maltreatment of the Palestinians, believes it has an unending free season on its victims.
Those are the Nazi-minded ideologues who are indoctrinated in Talmudic Jewish supremacy and who believe that the non-Jews lives have no sanctity , those are the Talmudic thugs who believe that the Palestinians must either be expelled or massacred .
As to its victims, Israel seeks always to demonize and dehumanize them so that the world will react indifferently if not callously when Israel murders them, expels them from their homes, steals their land and property as well as demolish their homes, a nearly daily callous practice the state of the Jews carries out in the West Bank.
Israel was born in sin. It will always be a sinful state, no matter what we read in the New York Times and the Washington Post or what we see on CNN and Fox News.
World passively watching as Israel perpetrates open-ended massacre in Gaza
The Israeli army, which can be called the Jewish Wehrmacht given its Nazi-like behavior, continues to pound the Gaza Strip from ground, sea and air. According to sources in Gaza, virtually all targets hit so far are civilians.
As many as 3500 Palestinians, virtually all of them civilians, have been reported killed so far. Thousands others were injured, many sustaining life-threatening wounds.
The scenes of mutilated and maimed children, some of whose bodies are seen protruding through the rubble of their homes, destroyed by missiles fired by American-supplied F-16 fighter jets, seem to verify the view that Israel is targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza knowingly and deliberately.
Israeli leaders and military officials are openly gloating over the high death toll among Palestinian civilians. They blame Hamas for the orgy of killing. However, virtually all Palestinians don’t buy the Israeli logice.
As we all know, this is not the first time Israel indulges in such war crimes.
Israel has always been a regular perpetrator of war crimes . Indeed, one would exaggerate very little by arguing that Israel itself is a war crime or a crime against humanity.
I am not going to spend time refuting Israeli hasbara lies, blaming Hamas for the latest conflagration. Having been a vigilant observer of Israeli behavior for several decade , I can honestly argue that honesty and Israel can not really be used in the same sentence. Israel and honesty are an eternal oxymoron.
Read Also: The Myth of Israeli Democracy
As always, Israel violated the uneasy truce reached through Egyptian mediation in 2002. Israeli leaders, proceeding from the Talmudic ideology which views all non-Jews as lesser human beings or virtual animals, don’t feel bound by agreements or treaties reached with “Goyem.“
People in the west, long duped and brainwashed by Zionist propaganda, may raise they eyebrows when reading these words. But we who live with these Judeo-Nazis and have been at the receiving end of their murderousness and evilness know better.
We don’t need and won’t accept lectures about the “humanity and civility” of the N-a-z-i-s of our time.
Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza don’t constitute an existential threat to Israel, which has one of the strongest military machines in the world.
In fact, the claim that Gaza is threatening Israel is infinitely ridiculous. The thoroughly-starved and hermetically blockaded Gazans have a hard time feeding their children, let alone pose any meaningful threat to the N-a-z-i Germany of our time, a pugnacious state that more or less tightly controls the most powerful country under the sun, the United States.
It is sad and lamentable that a country of 320 million has allowed itself to be enslaved by Zionist pressure groups, hell-bent on prostituting America and eviscerating it of any semblance of morality for Israel’s sake.
Palestinians have resist Jewish terror
But the Palestinians can not take their very survival for granted. They can’t rely on the so-called international community to shield them against Jewish N-a-z-i-s-m.
Indeed, if the Palestinians don’t defend themselves, who is going to defend them? Obama? Merkel? Or Puten?
Hence, the valiant Palestinian determination to put up a semblance of resistance to the Jewish Wehrmacht. The Israeli assault on Gaza is not an assault on Hamas; It is rather a nefarious aggression against the entire Palestinian people. It is intended to break our people’s will to resist Israeli Nazism. Pure and simple.
To put the matter in a nutshell, the Palestinians in Gaza are simply defending themselves against an overwhelming evil force that is hell bent on ethnically cleansing them and stealing their motherland. Our fighters don’t fire their home-made missiles on Israel because they want to spill Jewish blood. They do it because this is the only means they possess to deter a cannibalistic enemy that can only feel good if and when it spills Palestinian blood.
Besides, the problem with Israel didn’t begin last week or last year.
Just remember that many of the people being now bombarded and murdered by the Jewish Wehrmacht are actually children, grand children and great grand children of the original Palestinian refugees that Israel massacred or brutally expelled out of their homes when the evil state was created in Palestine in 1948.
Hence, the Palestinians in Gaza can not really be terrorists if only because they were never the initiator of violence and terror. The Palestinians were living peaceably in their towns and villages, mostly leading a simple pastoral life until waves of Khazari Jews, who had no real connection with the ancient Israelites, invaded Palestine with the aid of Western countries, especially the evil empire, the United Kingdome.
Yes, it was Britain that put the venomous Jewish snake in the bed of the Palestinian child. Britain, as Noam Chomsky wisely said, can not claim innocence or argue that it didn’t know the snake was so poisonous.
Gaza Massacre: Surviving by dying
Today, Palestinians are sacrificing their lives for their freedom, dignity and survival. This is what they have always been doing from time immemorial. We are very much children of martyrs who were themselves children of martyrs. We survived despite a harsh history of plots and conspiracies that aimed to eradicate us as a people from the face of earth.
We in Gaza will survive the latest Israeli blitz as well
However, the world community ought to feel ashamed for watching the Nazi Germany of our time gang up on a defenseless people in Gaza whose only crime is that it is not part of “the holy tribe,”
This conspicuously immoral world , which doesn’t respect any modicum of respect, will surely have a precarious future. It will face ultimate demise.
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