Imagine a world where sugar is outlawed. Fruits, veggies, pastas, poultry and seafood rule the land. 

Only sugar junkies, sweet treat fiends and cake addicts do sugar. They live in dark dingy alley ways near dumpsters, some live in those nasty “sugar houses” where everyone’s doing sugar and the rest of the sugar junkies live on the streets- on the bad sides of town. Their teeth are filled with cavities, they’re awfully chubby and their hands are always sticky.

Sugar dealers sell donuts, sugary drinks and even chocolate cakes out of their houses and some out of their cars.

Mothers always warn their children, “Don’t ever do sugar- or you will end up like the sugar junkies!”

Most people in the land don’t fall into sugar’s sweet trap. The law is upheld and many folks stick to their broccoli and chicken salads. But then one day, a few pharmaceutical companies get together and call a top secret meeting. It turns out; one of their labs came up with a pill to treat depression- a pill that contains high fructose corn syrup. They snicker, the giggle, they laugh. “The good people will never know!” they say, “They’re going to want more!” they bubble, “Everyone is going to get hooked!” and chuckles and sneers erupt in the room.

Soon after, the depression pills known as “lollies” hit all of the doctors’ offices in the land. The pharmaceutical representatives told the doctors, “People have less than a 1% chance of getting addicted to these pills- so prescribe them liberally!”

First, teenagers and middle-aged divorcees pop lollies, then grandmas and soccer moms. Soon, the whole land is popping lollies. After all, they give a sweet buzz and a bit of a rush- one that fruits and veggies don’t supply.

Soon after, diabetes is at an all-time high, heart disease skyrockets and obesity soars.

Hordes of protesters protest lollies and doctors become concerned that their patients are hooked and in turn, cut many patients off of their lollies.

Sugar dealers sweep in, bakers open up back-door bakeries and soccer moms who swore they’d never do sugar, eat donuts and ice cream. Almost everyone in the land turns to sugar- which is cheaper and more accessible than the lollies on the streets.

Kids in school get hooked on sugar. Grandparents get hooked on sugar. Even doctors and lawyers get hooked on sugar.

But then something sinister happens. Somewhere along the way, someone begins to lace the sugary treats with anti-freeze which is sweet and syrupy, but deadly. Suddenly people all across the land are dying. Mothers are burying their children left and right. The obituaries in the newspapers are filled.

People respond by saying “You knew sugar was bad, you CHOSE to do the sugar, all of you sugar junkies deserve to die!” And everyone is so caught up in the deaths, the arguments, the pure travesty of it all that no one ever asks “Why would so many sugar dealers want to kill their clients when business is at its best? Why the anti-freeze?

Modern day America, 2017

Overdose deaths from fentanyl and heroin are at an all-time high. Mothers are burying their children left and right. Everyday there are obituaries in the newspaper of a 20 or 30-something person. Arguments erupt almost constantly about addiction being a disease or a choice. People attack viciously with words such as “junkie, crack whore, dope fiend.” Rallies and protests are almost daily. People are frantically searching for the solution. Most people turn a blind eye.

Just like the story above, “Lollies”, better known to us as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and other opioid medications hit the streets in the 1990’s. Pharmaceutical representatives hit all of the medical organizations across America telling doctors that “OxyContin is not addictive and less than 1% of people who take it will become addicted”.

Today, opioid overdoses have exponentially increased and protests began against the opioid medications- and doctors began cutting people off of their prescriptions. Many people had grown physically and mentally dependent on the opioid meds and turned to the streets to buy the pills. It turns out that the pills, like OxyContin and Percocet, were extremely expensive. In comes heroin, the cheaper and more accessible choice, with very similar effects to the opioids prescribed in almost every doctor’s office in the United States.

Soccer moms, who swore they’d never do heroin turned to it. Doctors, lawyers and people of all different categories turned to heroin, after their prescriptions to drugs like OxyContin and Percocet were cut off. Then somewhere along the way, just like the story above, someone began cutting heroin with fentanyl, just like the sweets were laced with anti-freeze.

Now, fentanyl is killing more people than ever before. It is rare to find a bag of pure heroin, a bag that hasn’t been laced and we are all so hyped up over this epidemic that the question hasn’t been asked- why would so many dealers want to kill their customers? Why the fentanyl?

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