By Ken McKim
There is no "epidemic" of opioid overdoses. If 16,000 deaths in a year is an epidemic, then we really need to focus on the pandemic that is the over 100 million people in the U.S. who suffer from chronic pain.
For example, car crash fatalities in 2013 claimed more lives than opioid overdoses (there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013 in which 32,719 deaths occurred according to IIHS). As this qualifies as an epidemic by some people's twisted logic, I suggest we handle reducing car crash fatalities in the same manner that we regulate the prescribing of painkillers.
Effective immediately, you will have to own your car for two months before you can get a license to drive it. To obtain a driver's license, you must first establish a history with the DMV by visiting them at least two times per month for two months, paying $40 per visit during the two-month period you are waiting to get approved for your license.
Once you have your driver's license, you will only be able to purchase gasoline at particular gas station with a signed fuel-certificate from the DMV, which will allow you to purchase what the DMV thinks is an adequate supply of gas for a 30-day period.
For each new 30-day supply of gasoline you must obtain a new fuel certificate from the DMV, which will require another $40/five-hour appointment at the DMV.
If you try to take your DMV fuel-certificate to a different gas station than you normally use, your fuel-certificate may be refused and your name entered into a national database as someone guilty of "fuel seeking behavior."
Additionally, you will not be able to refill your gas supply after 3PM on Fridays, weekends or holidays. Your gas allotment must last for the full 30-day time-frame specified by the DMV. If you run out of gas before that 30-day period is up, you will not be able to get another fuel-certificate until the 30-day calendar period has ended. So remember, you should not be driving anywhere except to and from work, with possibly a once a week trip to the grocery store.
NOTE: Asking for more than your allotted fuel allowance will also constitute "fuel seeking behavior" and the DMV may choose to no longer see you.
The DMV also reserves the right to randomly smog check your vehicle at any time. If your vehicle fails the smog inspection, your driver's license will immediately be revoked.
NOTE: You must pay the cost of the smog inspection yourself.
I'm sure this will result in an immediate drop in automobile deaths. You're welcome.
This column is republished with permission from Ken McKim’s website, “Don’t Punish Pain.”
Ken began advocating for pain patients when his wife was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – and he came to realize that the chronically ill were often stigmatized by society. That realization led him to make a 32-minute video called "The Slow Death of Compassion for the Chronically Ill"
Ken has a series of other informative videos on You Tube.