Are Canadians Dying of Despair Too?

Carroll & Carroll/DPA via ZUMA

The CDC reports today that about 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year. Of that, 49,000 died of opioid overdoses. That’s an opioid overdose rate of 15 per 100,000.

But as Keith Humphreys pointed out last night, 4,000 people died of opioid overdoses in Canada last year. Given their much smaller population, that works out to an overdose rate of 11 per 100,000. That’s the same as our overdose rate from about 18 months ago.

I have absolutely no point to make about this. I don’t know anything about drug policy in Canada. But I will say this: if opioid deaths are supposedly a big part of our epidemic of “deaths of despair,” then apparently Canada has a similar problem. If your explanation for this epidemic is inherently American, you might need to come up with a different theory.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate