Addiction and Overdose: a Product of Capitalism

Since 2015, overdose deaths have doubled in the United States. In 2021, more than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose. Often, it’s after an injury that someone gets painkillers and falls into addiction.

The working class bears the brunt of overdoses and addictions. In industries where workplace injuries are high and there is little or no paid sick time, often the only option is to rely on painkillers. Out of all occupations, workers in construction make up roughly 25% of opioid deaths, followed by those in restaurants and food preparation.

The industry owners and bankers profit from paying us as little as possible, working us as hard as possible, and giving us as little benefits as possible. Some companies make billions off of opioids and the resulting addictions. Capitalism creates these problems, and then profits from their so-called “solutions.” This is unacceptable.