Claim: Climate Change will Make the US Opioid Crisis Worse

Watts Up With That?

Boiling Heroin Boiling heroin. By Hendrike source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Just in case you thought the climate movement and Penn State University couldn’t sink any lower.

Climate Change Could Make The Opioid Crisis Worse

March 24th, 2018
By Marlene Cimons

America’s opioid epidemic has dominated the news media in recent years, as drug overdose deaths have escalated, decimating lives and families. And while climate change may not be top of mind in discussions about how to effectively deal with this crisis, it’s a factor that shouldn’t be ignored. Global warming spawns extreme weather, which begets destruction and despair, a dangerous scenario for people looking for a way to numb their emotional pain.

“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

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