'Association Between Automotive Assembly Plant Closures and Opioid Overdose Mortality in the United States'

concludes ‘From 1999 to 2016, automotive assembly plant closures were associated with increases in opioid overdose mortality. These findings highlight the potential importance of eroding economic opportunity as a factor in the US opioid overdose crisis.’

It’s not a huge stretch to think that desperation and lack of economic opportunity will drive otherwise healthy people to use drugs. It’s also not a huge stretch to think that desperation and lack of economic opportunity will drive otherwise normal people to criminal activity. If anything, these problems will get worse, as automation takes away even more of our good-paying jobs.

Higher drug use and crime has always been associated with job loss. And Visa-Versa.

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That isn’t what we thought when desperation and lack of economic opportunity drove mostly otherwise-healthy Blacks to use heroin or crime.

Who’s going to choose to pay more for the hand-made versions? Automation has made us wealthy. I remember before my family had a TV, when we could afford only 1 car… Even these unemployed people have TVs, refrigerators, more than enough food, medical care that didn’t exist 50 years ago…

Without reading the article, we might think about the chicken and the egg. Then again other possible unrelated factors such as doctors being led down the path to prescribe them more liberally. Gotta be careful about cause and effect, but closing plants is never a good thing for the folks involved and remains to be seen if it is a good thing for the companies involved also.

I can tell you that, if you stood in front of the GM factory in Linden, NJ, in the '70s & '80s, it was pretty clear from the demeanor of the employees that a lot of them were abusing some type of substance. Now that this factory is long-gone, I can’t imagine that those substance abusers are faring well.

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I worked in three different factories in the 60’s and early 70’s and I can honestly say that I never ever saw what I suspected would be people under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. It would have been an immediate walk to the door. I don’t propose to know why the difference. Tedium was always an issue and sure, lots of the folks would stop at the bar for a couple after work but never during work. The word would have gotten around. I remember a guy I worked with though who had spent time in jail, telling me how to make matches last longer, so it’s not like everyone was an angel.

The past 15+ years of my 45+ years in the Software field I’ve been working in the Telecom business. Every company I’ve worked at in the Telecom industry requires an FBI background check and a drug test. I’d say 1 in 10 applicants can’t get past the drug and alcohol test. A lot of companies are now requiring drug tests to hire and random drug tests while your there.

I live in an oil town. During the last oil boom, drug use skyrocketed due to high wages and lots of spending power in the hands of those high wage earners.

When oil prices dropped, dug us went down as well and now with high local unemployment due to the oil bust it’s on the rise again.

Statisticians could show you any number of correlations, most of which are meaningless.

The current crisis is mainly due to the low prices and availability of this very powerful drug.

In NYC, during the '80s, there was a saying:
Cocaine abuse is God’s way of telling you that you make too much money.

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Not sure but I think that was first said by Richard Pryor in one of his routines .

That is possible. I wasn’t one of his fans, so you couldn’t prove it by me.

Another saying in NYC, in the '80s:
BMW means break my window”.
(The theft rate for Alpine audio systems in BMWs was… astronomical.)

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Oh come on, everyone knows BMW really stands for “Break My Wallet”, as in the high repair and maintenance costs will literally drive you bankrupt!


I worked in a large steel mill for 12 years. Alcohol was more of a problem than other drugs. Those that abused alcohol on the job were written up, but the union protected them so well that it was virtually impossible to get them fired when they wouldn’t accept help to get straight. Their coworkers eventually put them in a safe place to sleep it off so that they didn’t hurt anyone else.

I also worked in a rotary compressor plant. There was a joke about a revolving door in HR because so many people came and went. That was mostly because new employees failed their drug tests. The new employees that failed were fired within two weeks of their hire when the results came back. This was in a semi-rural area and almost all the hourly employees came from rural areas, driving an hour or two to get to work.

Here in OK I live in the oil and gas patch and at times it’s been feast or famine. Some may remember the OK Penn Square bank failure back in the 80s. The trickle down from that was felt nationally and really hit hard around here. It went in one month from tent cities in the parks to massive vacancies.and which also led to several new car dealers going under and many independent shops closing down.
Every gas station and convenience sore in town sold “Last one out of town turn off the lights” bumper stickers. Half the cars around had those on the rear bumpers or valances.

I’ve had a few tough times and got through it without having to resort to alcohol or drugs Someone who can’t is a bit weak willed in my opinion. Getting stoned accomplishes nothing.


It accomplishes getting stoned. Which makes you feel good. I expect that’s the objective. Folks find themselves (or get themselves into) adverse positions, on the receiving end of endless complaints and abuse, where they feel there’s no escape, no way they’ll ever feel good waking up in the morning again. The best alternative (from that perspective) seems to be to use chemicals to feel good. Nobody will take your good feelings away from you then. That’s the theory anyway. And it sort of makes sense from the point of view of a single purpose objective. The problem is there’s many objectives a person has to achieve to gain a good quality life. Simply feeling good after a dose of chemicals isn’t usually a sufficient way to gain all the objectives needed and so there’s no ultimate good quality life using the chemical path, hence the despair and all the rest.

I expect there are pre-dispositions to using chemicals to feel good. Genetic, psychological etc. I certainly have relatives who seem to have this predisposition. Their problem is hard for me to understand b/c my personal drug of choice is caffeine. One small dose in the morning in the form of coffee I quite enjoy for the most part. But there’s a downside: I definitely sleep better if I don’t drink coffee. Every once in a while I’ll quit coffee for a few months and enjoy considerably sounder sleep. But I also miss the morning happiness. Other than coffee for happiness, as far as alcohol and chemicals, the biggest effect for me is they make me feel dizzy. I guess that means I’m not one of the predisposed. I did enjoy the flavor of that scotch and soda I had during my summer’s holiday drive through Nevada though.

Agree! I enjoy alcohol in small doses ( few glasses of wine or 2 beers), but too much makes me sick long before I would be legally drunk. I call it a built-in safety valve for what it’s worth.

Yes, we do have a wine cellar in our house, but it’s more for storage and aging since we make most of our own wine.

Never tried drugs of any sort and have no desire to. Coffee is my best friend.

Stopped smoking on New Yea’s Eve, 1969 and never lit up again.

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I never understood the desire to get high. How can numbing my own mind (beyond 2 beers) be pleasurable? But then climbing Mt Everest or base jumping off the Eiffel Tower seem equally ridiculous. Of course I’m not one to become closely involved with organizations, even social cliques, so the pressure to belong and join whatever is trending was never a pressure on me. Possibly the DNA investigators will soon find the combination of spikes to determine our individual tendencies for excitement vs contentment and fun vs happiness and spoil it all for everyone.

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All kinds of reasons. I had a cousin with schizophrenia that used drugs to stop the voices she heard. Just one reason. She eventually got medical help and controlled her disease with prescription drugs. It’s a shame she waited so long, but the stigma attached to mental illness is strong, and was even stronger in the 1980s when the self medication was going on.

And t hat will probably account for less then 0.0000000000001% of the reasons people get high.