Some Opiods and ATS stats


“End-Hauptbereichsverspannungsmedikamente für Nacknmuskuleere Speerre” collaborative artwork by artists group “Entente Sublimale”

More or less recently I had seen a video in which a famous politician was talking in a way which gave me the impression that this person was on drugs. I may have been wrong, but still. It should be said that in the video the person had to comment on a very tragic event and that was sofar the only time where I saw this politician in this state.
Then there was also Jeroen Dijsselbloems recent controversial remarks about economic failures due to alcohol and women and the following discussions, where it was e.g. remarked that after taking interest payments away, the economics of the Netherlands seems to look actually worse than that of Southern Europe. All this made me look a bit at examples of drugs and in particular opiods in connection with economics and politics.



In the Washington Post article “Americans use far more opioids than anyone else in the world” of march 2015 by professor Keith Humphreys a graphical overview over some countries’ opiod uses is given. The data is from the INCB report 2016 (interestingly the Washington Post now keeps its own copy). As far as I understood the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board) covers the legal narcotic drugs. Illicit drugs are referenced in the UNDOC reports.
Anyways as you can see in this graphics (or in the table in the report on page 226) Germany ranks third in opiod use, which is -if you know a bit from Germany’s history – not without brisance. I will come back to this later.

It is useful to recap a bit about the different types of drugs.
According to this graphics (or the INCB report) the top opiod pain killers used in the US were Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Fentanyl. All have a high danger of addiction.

In the US those pain killers, handed out in prescriptions led to something which is now called an epidemic – according to business insider:

In 1991, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that doctors wrote 76 million prescriptions. By 2011, that number had hit 219 million.
The explosion in prescriptions has subsequently led to an explosion in overdoses and abuse, leading the federal government to dub opioid abuse an epidemic.

The New York times had made a visualization of deaths from overdoses where it can be seen how especially rural areas are affected by the epidemic. How this affects concrete families is described in the article:
“2 of a Farmer’s 3 Children Overdosed. What of the Third — and the Land?”
And apparently too fastly cutting down on pain killers apparently made things worse and let amongst others to heroin addiction.
I haven’t heard yet that opiod use was called an epidemic in Germany, although according to the report and the table XIV.1.a. on page 226 Germany uses 30796 vs. 47580 (US) daily doses per million inhabitants per day. That is about two third of the US consumption. The biggest amounts are here though not Hydrocodone like in the US but Fentanyl – the drug which apparently killed the musician Prince.

Here a diagram made from numbers in the report (p. 249-250) about the rise of global use of opiods. Have a look at the jump in 2008:

It should also be said that opiods are not the only addictive “medical” drugs but for example in the US Metamphetamine is apparently prescribed for treating obesity and ADHD. Since it is not narcotic it is not mentioned in the INCB report.
Methamphetamine, also known as Crystal Meth, had played also a role in World War II under the name Pervitin. Amongst others it was called “Panzerschokolade” (“tank chocolate”) or Stuka-Tablette (“dive bomber pill”). Methamphetamine is a substituted amphetamine, so it belongs to the family of amphetamines for which corresponding pharmaceutical products are e.g. called Adderall, Dyanavel XR, and Evekeo and which are apparently not too uncommon among students.

I tried to gather some statistics concerning amphetamine type drugs. The following bar chart is assembled from the World Drug Report 2010 and 2016 (Fig 192 p.208 in WDR 2010, 2000-2008 and Fig. 65 p. 53, 2009-2014) which displays the seizures of Amphitamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) worldwide in tons. The diagram has to be taken with a grain of salt, because for 2009-2014 there were no explicit values listed and so I just read the values of the diagram. (Unfortunately the data itself is spread over different world regions in the UNDC tables coming with different units, so it would have been too much work to calculate the numbers from the tables directly. There is a somewhat similar overview in the WDR 2016 page xii intro).

Not known or forgotten by many – already in World War II Methamphetamine was leading to a kind of drug epidemic among the german soldiers. Moreover Nazi leaders were addicted including Hitler himself who used the above mentioned drug Oxycodone and cocaine. The brand name for the Oxycodone pills were at this time Eukodal. According to the book “Blitzed” by Norman Ohler:

When Hitler fell seriously ill in 1941, however, the vitamin injections that Morell had counted on no longer had any effect – and so he began to ramp things up. First, there were injections of animal hormones for this most notorious of vegetarians, and then a whole series of ever stronger medications until, at last, he began giving him a “wonder drug” called Eukodal, a designer opiate and close cousin of heroin whose chief characteristic was its potential to induce a euphoric state in the patient (today it is known as oxycodone). It wasn’t long before Hitler was receiving injections of Eukodal several times a day. Eventually he would combine it with twice daily doses of the high grade cocaine he had originally been prescribed for a problem with his ears, following an explosion in the Wolf’s Lair, his bunker on the eastern front.

->related randform post Virtual asset sizes

6 Responses to “Some Opiods and ATS stats”

  1. Richard Says:

    I recommend you to listen to e.g. this World War II History Lesson (Crash course # 38) at around minute 8:15, citation from the video:

    “Now it’s easy to claim that Hitler was crazy and evil and in fact he was certainly both, but that doesn’t explain the Nazi’s decision to invade Russia and it sure doesn’t explain Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbour and there are many possible explanations beyond mere evil. But the most interesting one to me involves food. Hitler had a number of reasons to expand Germany’s territory but he often talked about “Lebensraum” or “living space” for the german people. German agriculture was really inefficiently organized into lots of small farms and that meant that Germany needed a lot of land in order to be self-sufficient in food production. The plan was to take Poland Ukraine and eastern Russia and then resettle that land with lots of Germans so that it could feed german people. This was called the “Hunger Plan” because the plan called for 20 million people to starve to death. Many would be the Poles Ukrainians and Russians that previously lived on the land, the rest would be Europe’s jews that would be worked to death. 6 million jews were killed by the Nazi’s. Many by starvation, but many by a chillingly planned effort of extermination in death camps. These death camps can be distinguished from concentration camps or labour camps in that their primary purpose was extermination of jews, Roma people, communists, homosexuals, disabled people and others that the Nazi’s deemed unfit. Some historians believe that the Nazi’s opened the death camps becaus the jews weren’t dying as fast as the “Hunger plan” had intended. This was a sickening plan, but it made a kind of demented sense – rather than becoming more involved in global trade as the British had, the Germans would feed themselves by taking land and killing the people who’d previously lived there.”

  2. nad Says:

    I mentioned the drug problems around WWII within Germany and in particular Hitlers drug problems as a component which I think played a role in WWII but I certainly wouldn’t claim that those drug problems could “explain the Nazi’s decision to invade Russia.”

    Moreover although I wouldn’t call food the “most interesting” reason for the invasion, it is right that food and the economy in general played a role in the rise of Hitler and they played a role in WWII war decisions. I think though it is debatable to what extend the average “farm size” played a major role in those Reich economics problems.

    Anyways even if Hitlers mental state certainly played a role it is unclear how important this component was. Finally Hitler wasn’t acting alone, in fact he was elected and even his quasi-plenary powers which he gained by the Enabling Act were approved by a rather big share of the members of the parliament. That is if the centre party would have voted against the Enabling Act then he would have missed the two third majority and his rise to power would have been at least more difficult.

    From Wikipedia:

    Although they received five million more votes than in the previous election, the Nazis failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament, and depended on the 8% of seats won by their coalition partner, the German National People’s Party, for a slim majority of 52%.

    To free himself from this dependency, Hitler had the cabinet, in its first post-election meeting on 15 March, draw up plans for an Enabling Act which would give the cabinet legislative power for four years. The Nazis devised the Enabling Act to gain complete political power without the need of the support of a majority in the Reichstag and without the need to bargain with their coalition partners.

  3. sue54 Says:

    ooo what gloomy discussion here!
    Think you better let bygones be bygones and discuss more merriful things. Like magic, golden carriages, fairies….:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRuHM6rLSF8
    love and peace to all

    💟☮️

  4. Richard Says:

    It is hard to comprehend that the Nazi’s deemed the jews as “unfit” – such a loss of reality is even for megalomanic all brawns remarkable, finally there were distinguished professors and even Nobel laureats fleeing the country which led to an enormous brain drain in Germany.

  5. Richard Says:

    I just say: Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, Robert Oppenheimer etc.

  6. Kent Says:

    Richard said:

    such a loss of reality is even for megalomanic all brawns remarkable

    @Richard
    This particular Nazi attitude may be very deeply rooted in german culture. There is an interesting article at foreign policy about Germany’s “Besserwisserei” . Some excerpts:

    But it’s increasingly clear that one country’s allegedly evidence-based Besserwisserei is another country’s intolerable smugness.

    and

    Besserwisserei may be a cultural trait that reaches back centuries…

    You probably know about “aranyan physics” or “Deutsche Physik”.

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