Do we need to declare war on *everything?*

Americans like to declare wars on things. Cancer, drugs, gun control...it's not an issue. It's a war!

I saw this floating around teh internetz just now and became irate. Must we be so...warlike? Can we not reserve "war" for those things where soldiers go risk their lives and lots of people get killed for some Important Cause?

The wars on opioids and cancer especially irk me. With the former, it's really a war against the people who take opioids. With the latter, I don't think it helps cancer patients to think about waging battle with themselves. Cancer is hard enough. And so on for all the other non-wars we speak of.

Speaking of a war against gun control is so absurd it almost doesn't deserve mention, but I no longer assume that common sense is either common or sense. Are you KIDDING me right now?

This "war on opioids" really sticks in my craw, as people who follow me anywhere online probably know. Not only do I find the term annoying, because it is misleading, but also I think the "battle" has been randomly chosen and the "rules of the game" invented to punish people who need these drugs and the doctors who want to help their patients.

Alcohol ruins way more lives than Norco. Why are we not focusing on getting alcoholics the help they need? Major depression is a fatal epidemic (it is, really; people die from it when they're untreated, so in my brain? That counts). Why aren't we focusing on that? This list goes on.

Are there statistics on how many prescription drug overdoses come from medications other than opioids? On how many deaths are a result of people being unable to get medications (of any kind) that they need? I've seen a lot of patients who are so done with having to live with chronic and horrific pain that they are suicidal. Why isn't this problem being addressed?

These wars are just people in power deciding what should go on our collective agenda and getting us all stirred up by using fighting words. We need to use our brains to ferret out what is really harming and killing people and then focus on helping those people, not declaring war against them.