Three minutes from the airport is the first of many billboards advertising drug rehabilitation. In a nation overcome with an opioid epidemic, West Virginia—ranked 38th in population and 48th in income—is No. In the rate was 52 deaths per ,—the second consecutive year with an increase of more than 16 percent. They had 33 percent more overdose fatalities than neighboring state Ohio, which ranks second at West Virginia is also No.
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That study considers what each state spends on health care, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice costs, and projects lost worker productivity to estimate the overall societal burden of fatal overdoses. By that measure, West Virginia is well ahead of the rest of the country—the only state with a double-digit percentage of its economy lost to the opioid epidemic. Eight other states come in at between 4 and 5.
Located in the heart of the economically ravaged Appalachian coal belt, it is said that this is where the opioid epidemic began. Workers in coal mines—and eventually, anybody with a toothache, sore elbow or sprained knee—were eager for hour, supposedly nonaddictive pain relief. Because doctors were encouraged—and sometimes rewarded—by manufacturers to treat every single pain complaint with pain pills, the path to addiction was paved on these country roads.
Before long, patients of all walks of life who had taken pain pills on the advice of their doctors—pills strong enough to soothe stage-four cancer patients—found themselves addicted to opioids. Soon, many of the addicts were crushing pills to snort, smoke or inject the drug as they fought off the withdrawal sickness when opioid levels subsided.
No alarms sounded as prescriptions and refills spiraled beyond plausible numbers; distributors loaded up pharmacies with more pills. Between , distributors sent more than million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the state, pills for every man, woman and child. During that time, a Charleston Gazette-Mail investigation found, 1, West Virginians died from fatal overdoses of those two drugs. But the flood of pills continued. They could wear whatever they wished and were all educated. We used to go about 15km outside Mogadishu to a restaurant we called Abukarow after the man who owned it.
He had a mosque built next door so that families could go to prayers and then come and eat. If you didn't get there early and reserve a table before prayers then you had no chance of being served a meal as it was so popular and always crowded.
We would feast on "dhaylo" - baby goat grilled on charcoal, with heaps of Somali rice all washed down with sour camel milk taken with a little bit of sugar. But the landmark year for me was in when the country's focus was on raising our literacy rate. All the schools were closed for a year and instead everyone had to get together and those who knew how to read had to teach those who couldn't.
During the war with Ethiopia, I was a student at medical school and we were sent to the frontline to help the wounded. I was at that time studying at secondary school and we all ran away from school and trekked to Hargeisa just to see the colonial flag pulled down and to watch the Somali flag rise. I was there and singing songs. Everybody was so happy. We were shouting two words: Independence and unity.
Five days after northern Somalia was granted independence, the south and Mogadishu got their independence and we were united. But then I remember everybody was trying to unify Somalia - the territory that was given to Ethiopia by the British: We call it western Somalia.
They call it the Ogaden.
At independence everyone was hoping for something good - to get rid of colonialism and then to find freedom. But unfortunately of our ministers of parliament, only three had degrees - one from Britain and two from Italy. There was no experience of how to run a state. So after the colonials left, corruption came and then the military took over to rectify the mistakes of the civilian government.
Michelangelo Buonarroti , the painter and sculptor, believed that his work was to free an already existing image; Giuseppe Verdi heard the voices of the ancients and of angels in music that came to him in his dreams; Dante Alighieri forged a new language with his incomparable poems of heaven, hell, and the world between. Those and many other Italian artists, writers, designers, musicians, chefs, actors, and filmmakers have brought extraordinary gifts to the world.
This article treats the physical and human geography and history of Italy. For discussion of Classical history, see the articles ancient Italic people and ancient Rome.
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