About Heather Zeiger

Heather is a freelance science writer with an MS in chemistry and an MA in bioethics.

Loneliness, Depression, and Euthanasia

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Loneliness is part of the trifecta of modern angst (along with boredom and fragmentation).

A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry looked at physician-assisted suicide (PAS) cases in Belgium that were approved because the patient had an unbearable psychiatric illness. mu legend items for sale The study found that in more than half of the cases, the patient declined treatment that could have helped. Often the patient sought approval for euthanasia after visiting with a doctor for the first time, some patients even visiting a mobile clinic that is funded by a euthanasia group. Forty-six of the 66 cases were women. Importantly, loneliness was cited as a common theme. Bomber Peuterey You can read the research article here, available by subscription, and the New York Times article here. Air Jordan 2 Last year, Rachel Aviv wrote a poignant and insightful article in The New Yorker on euthanasia for non-terminal people in the Netherlands. In it she recounts the story of Tom whose mother suffered from depression and eventually elected to undergo euthanasia. Tom did not know about it until after the fact and was angry that he was not called so he could talk to his mother. His mother died with three photographs in her pocket: one of her holding Tom as a baby, one of her feeding her granddaughter ice cream, and one of her and her daughter in a field. Nike Roshe Run Uomo

She had just broken up with her boyfriend and was estranged from her daughter. Tom and his wife could visit her sometimes, but career and children took much of their time. Furthermore, her lifelong struggle with depression and inability to form close relationships contributed to her isolation. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren wit She was lonely and she elected to die alone. Loneliness is pervasive. This is not the idea of someone being by themselves. Many people can be alone and not be lonely. Adidas Zx 500 Homme Also, many people can go to parties, have friends, and still feel utterly alone. As social commentators have pointed out, loneliness is part of the trifecta of modern angst: loneliness, boredom (hyperboredom) and fragmentation. Greg Monbiot in an insightful column in The Guardian dubs our time as the “Age of Loneliness.” One of the Dutch psychologists mentioned in Rachel Aviv’s article says that euthanasia for psychiatric disorders is a response to the nihilism pervasive in the Dutch culture. He says that people ask “What is life worth when there is no God?” or “What is life worth when I am not successful?” In Japan, the incidence of dying alone, and sometimes not being discovered for weeks, has become so common that the Japanese have a word for it: kodokushi. There is an entire industry dedicated to cleaning after the discovery of someone who has died a lonely death with no friends or relatives. In Japan, many of these lonely deaths are men who had dedicated their lives to their jobs only to be laid off or forced into early retirement. NIKE AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE 20

They had no relationships outside of work. Their jobs were the essence of their identity. Yeezy Boost 750 Without it, they were lost. Nike Air Jordan 4 Womens
A 2014 report showed that loneliness has greater negative health effects than obesity, and a Washington Post article from this past January reported more studies on the health effects of loneliness. In sum, scientists have found that loneliness leads to physiological changes and is more damaging to one’s health than cigarettes, diabetes, and obesity. Studies have shown a correlation between loneliness and early death, onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and increased risk for cancer and heart attacks. This is likely due to increased activity in genes that cause inflammation coupled with decreased activity in genes that produce antibodies. Canada recently legalized physician-assisted suicide, and in the U.S., California recently joined Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Montana as states where PAS is legal. Mens Nike Air Max Flyknit

Most of these places have stringent guidelines for who qualifies for euthanasia. The U.S. laws specify that the patient have a terminal illness and some of them require that the patient have less than six months to live. While “slippery slope” arguments can sometimes be spurious, in this case, we do have two examples of what happens when suicide is medicalized and re-framed as a dignified death. Nike Air Max 90 Men

Belgium and The Netherlands continue to open up euthanasia to more and more people. They are not required to be terminal and the age limit continues to decrease with some advocating for no age limit for qualifying for euthanasia. But, if loneliness is a pervasive problem in our culture, medically-endorsed suicide does little to help and may contribute to the sense of isolation. There was a time when suicide was a cry for help. Now, for the depressed and lonely, it affirms their fears that they are unwanted. Mother Teresa is quoted as saying that “the biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.” Rather than trying to care for people who are struggling, doctors are helping lonely people to end it all. Suicide is not a “solution” for someone struggling with a mental health issue. NIKE AIR ZOOM ELITE 9 It is abandoning someone in their time of need.

What Is Natural?

For several weeks now I have been trying to write about the Nuffield Bioethics Report called (un)Natural. The Nuffield Bioethics Council is a non-partisan bioethics think tank that analyzes particular issues of importance in science, medicine, and technology. They are based in the UK and have some influence over policy issues because of their presence in the mainstream media. adidas nmd r1 femme

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  • Their report with the longer title of “Ideas about naturalness in public and political debates about science, technology, and medicine,” analyzes the various ways that the terms “natural,” “unnatural,” and “nature” are used in the media, in journal articles, and in other venues. Compra Mochilas Kanken Baratas They are particularly concerned with how those terms shape people’s perceptions of new technologies. They solicited the help from experts in language and had poetry readings. Continue reading

    Identifying the Person as the Problem: Euthanasia for Mental Illness

    It was a practice that is foreign to most us today: The victim was executed for a crime committed against her. In the case of sexual defilement in which the woman was the victim, the woman was stoned to death in order to keep her uncleanliness out of the tribe. Nike Air Max 2016 Heren blauw

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  • It seems barbaric to our modern-day sensitivities. But, what if a woman wants to be punished for something done to her? What if she sees herself as too defiled to enter into the community? What if she thinks she should be killed? Today victims of child sexual crimes and sexual assault are not put in jail or executed for being dirty. nike tn 2017 femme Kånken Laptop 15 asics gel pulse 6 sklep biegacza The Enlightenment brought with it the idea of autonomy, and with autonomy comes personal responsibility. Solde adidas superstar The just response to sex crimes is to have the perpetrator tried and convicted in a court of law. However, in our modern world, the community’s responsibility toward the victim is a bit hazy. Nike Air Huarache Dealing with the aftermath of sexual crimes, in particular, tends to be private and personal. The Dutch Euthanasia Commission granted a 29-year-old woman permission to die by physician-assisted suicide. nike air max femme pas cher nike air zoom pegasus 32 hombre She suffered from post-traumatic stress from childhood sexual abuse that occurred from age 5 to 15. Among her mental health co-morbidities (because people with PTSD tend to express several types of symptoms), she had what was deemed “untreatable” anorexia due to depression and anxiety. Air Jordan 4 Premium new balance 577 marron homme The Psychological Damage of Sex Crimes In the up-coming issue of Salvo (Issue 37), I wrote the Casualty Report on sex trafficking. Air Jordan 14 Homme In doing the research for this report, one of the key ways that traffickers and pimps maintain control of their victims is by making them feel worthless. Nike Air Max 90 Femme By shaming their victims through abusive and degrading tactics, the victim will not only lose her will to fight back, but she will lose hope for a way out. This is how pimps “train their victims.” Once the cycle of shame has begun, the victim will stay in the abusive relationship because she doesn’t believe she deserves better. Nike Air Max Dames Goedkoop nike air max 1 ultra essential femme

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    [Y]ou were disgraced because you acted less than human, you were treated as if you were less than human, or you were associated with something less than human, and there are witnesses. adidas y3 femme (Welch, 2)

    The 29-year-old woman was treated as something less than human for most of her childhood. When she was approved for physician-assisted suicide, she was treated as less than human then, too. Eli Manning PTSD Is NOT Incurable In an op-ed for TIME online, Joan Cook, a trauma psychiatrist, says that “No provider anywhere should ever tell a trauma survivor that their condition is incurable.” She points out that treatment can be hard and it can take a long time, but it is not incurable. AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 33

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  • In a Huffington Post article by Jenni Schaefer, author and survivor of sexual abuse, she attests that she was not competent to make a rational and informed decision about physician-assisted suicide while in the throes of her mental illness. new balance 577 damskie The feelings of hopelessness, she says, are part of the illness. In The Netherlands, one of the criteria for approval for physician-assisted suicide is that the patient must be competent to make the decision. How can she be both rational and competent and have an “incurable” mental illness? Jenni’s mentor and PTSD expert, Dr. Tim Brewton, said that it is the obligation of the therapist to instill hope. He says that from a clinical perspective,

    I do not believe in ever giving up on an individual’s potential for recovery. In fact, I think it is the duty of a doctor or therapist to instill hope of improvement, particularly in a young person. Ryan Pickett Jersey Nike Air Max 95

    Cheap Nike shoes One very important lesson that I have learned over the years is that I can never predict who will improve and who will not. I have been proven wrong too many times, and we cannot see the future.

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    Shame consumes a person until the person is completely gone. Odell Beckham Jr Giants Jerseys Welch points out that the deep logic of anorexia, which the woman suffered from, is that the person feels unworthy and deserves nothing, so she gives herself nothing and perhaps she can just disappear (Welch, 28). Stanford Cardinal Jerseys This woman felt unworthy of life and the Dutch Euthanasia Commission agreed with her. Nike Air Max 2009 Femme Autonomy and Compassion Sexual crimes violate the person, not only physically, but also mentally. Nike Air Max 95 Homme air max pas cher It is the ultimate expression of treating another as an inhuman piece of meat, a means to an end. If the victim survives the attack, she is not free; she is in mental bondage. Central Michigan Chippewas Jerseys Her autonomy has been stripped from her. Killing her is not honoring her freedom to choose when and how she will die. nike air max 2017 femme rouge It is honoring the perpetrator’s original intent, which is to consume and discard. Our enlightened and progressive culture has a habit of “solving” the problem by getting rid of the person, whether it is the unborn, the disabled, or the mentally ill. nike air max pas cher The problem of suffering is solved by eliminating the sufferer. nike internationalist homme

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  • New Balance 998 hombre This is sanitized by calling it “compassionate” and justified by invoking autonomy. If Western countries, like The Netherlands, really do value freedom and autonomy, then true freedom means helping the victim out of her mental bondage by showing her the love and dignity that she doesn’t think she deserves. Asics Gel Nimbus 18 Homme Jered Weaver Baseball Jersey Note: After writing this post, I came across this column by Clare Allen in The Guardian, (“The label ‘incurable’ is not a justification for ending a life”).

    The New Compassion: California Is the Fifth State to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

    John is an 18-year-old young man who has struggled with depression for most of his life. He has tried to commit suicide in the past. Now that he is an adult, he has decided to take his own life and end his struggle. He purchased a gasoline-powered water pump to poison himself with carbon monoxide.   Mark is a 40-year-old man who just received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Air Jordan 12 (XII) He has a wife and young children. He would like the option to take a lethal drug that would allow him to die peacefully before his health declines to the point that he is in unbearable pain and a burden on his family.   Amos is an 81-year-old man who is in generally good health, but is unable to do some of the things he used to enjoy doing. He feels that he has led a good life and is ready to move on before he physically declines any more than he already has. He would like to go to a clinic in Europe to die. ~~~ Somewhere in the last twenty years, the idea of compassion changed. Parajumpers Windbreaker Mary Todd

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  • adidas nmd dzieci?ce There was a time when compassion meant caring for the suicidal person, not enabling him to go through with it. Compassion used to mean stepping into a messy situation and convincing the person that he didn’t have to end it all, that his life still had meaning and value. Air Jordan Reveal Homme Now compassion means providing a way for certain groups of suicidal people to end their lives because they want relief from physical, emotional, or financial pain more than they want to continue living. In the above examples, John’s story is based on an incident out of Massachusetts in which a young man’s girlfriend, who lived 50-miles away, encouraged him to follow through with his plan to commit suicide over text messages and phone calls. Currently, there is a lawsuit to determine whether she is guilty of manslaughter. New Balance 530 homme Amos is a fictional character inspired by a nurse who decided that she did not want to grow old and physically decline. NIKE AIR ZOOM ELITE 9 She was a healthy 75-year-old woman with a partner of 25 years and adult children who stay in contact with her. mu legend zen for sale asic gel lyte iii on feet She didn’t want to age, and she didn’t want to be a burden on people. legend zen for sale

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  • She went to Switzerland to die. Mark is a fictional character loosely based on a man who chose to go to Switzerland to die after he found out he had cancer. New Balance 996 damskie In the real-life case, the man was not terminal, and his wife and daughters did not want him to go through with it. nike pas cher Maglie Milwaukee Bucks These stories can help us understand the new legislation out of California. adidas stan smith homme noir Maglia LeBron James Ray Ban nederland California is the fifth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Advocates tout the bill (ABX2 15, “End of Life Option Act”) as providing an option for terminally ill people who wish to end their lives peacefully and at a time that they desire. Nike Air Max 90 Homme Detractors say that the bill opens the door for abuse and exploitation, and if other countries are any indicator, physician-assisted suicide will expand beyond the terminally ill. mu legend power leveling buty siatkarskie asics allegro adidas stan smith pas cher The California bill is for people like Mark. Adidas Superstar Femme Blanche Or, real-life people like Brittaney Maynard, the 29-year-old woman who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She died by assisted suicide last year after moving from California to Oregon where physician-assisted suicide is legal. Her case sparked a national debate over legalizing physician-assisted suicide in various states, including California. Adidas NMD Femme Nike Air Max Thea Femme Rose In our three examples, the arguments for why it is okay to provide pills to let someone like Mark commit suicide could easily apply to John or to Amos. The argument for physician-assisted suicide is based on the newer version of compassion, one that elevates choice and autonomy over care and dignity. Marcus Mariota Oregon Jerseys An argument from compassion could apply to John and Amos’s cases as much as it does to Mark’s case. cheap mu Legend zen sac a dos kanken pas cher Indeed, all three would qualify for assisted suicide in places like Belgium or the Netherlands where laws have expanded to include physician-assisted suicide for people with depression or for children over the age of twelve. Advocates of physician-assisted suicide tell stories of their loved ones being placed on machines at the end of their life or undergoing painful chemo, suffering and in pain until the end. Often people will say that they never want to go through what one of their parents or a loved one went through before they died. Nike Lunartempo Homme NIKE AIR MAX SEQUENT To them, the option of a peaceful death via suicide keeps them from this bitter fate. Nike Air Max 2018 Homme ADIDAS NMD

    goedkoop air max 2017 However, there are other options that do not involve suicide and maintains the dignity of the individual. There is comfort care. A quote attributed to Hippocrates reads that physicians should “cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always.” In medicine there is an in-between state where the goals are no longer curing, but switch to comfort so that the person can still have meaningful interactions with her loved ones and not suffer unbearable pain. Nike Air Max TN Homme For example, a person can decide not to undergo chemo therapy and, instead, have a better quality of life for her last few months. A palliative care physician who taught one of my clinical ethics classes said that there have been great advances in palliative care therapy. People do not have to die in pain. Parajumpers Homme Super Light New Balance 446 mujer As to the fear of being hooked up to machines, there are times when a machine would be burdensome and yet due to its minor efficacy, should not be part of a patient’s treatment plan. new balance 1600 daytona ronnie fieg This isn’t giving up on a patient. Air Jordan 2 Homme Mujer Air Jordan 7 It is not negligence, and it is not physician-assisted suicide. Fjällräven Kånken Big It is recognizing that this machine will cause more harm than good by burdening the patient rather than helping him. nike air max pas cher There are even cases when it would be ethical to withdraw machine support because the machine is doing nothing to help the patient’s condition and is not staving off the progression of the disease. Air Jordan 11 Homme This can be an ethically gray area where the clinical details make a difference, but in the cases when treatment is not working, then the patient is often weaned off of the machine and the goals are switched to comfort care as the untreatable disease finally takes the person’s life. Often, the person who wishes to have physician-assisted suicide says that she does not want to be a burden on anybody. While this is a noble sentiment, it is wrong. nike air max 1 ultra essential homme adidas gazelle Every one of us, from the moment we came out of the womb as a vulnerable, helpless baby, has been a burden on our loved ones and on society. Kansas Jayhawks That is part of being human. nike air max pas cher pour homme Even in the prime of our lives, we affect the people around us. Nike Air Max Thea Homme Noir We can burden them and we can help others carry their burdens. Indeed, love is often about helping someone carry their burden. As noble as the sentiment sounds, it dismisses what it means to be human and live in community. However, there is one burden that a person does not have a right to require of someone. buy mu legend zen It is the burden of taking another life. kobe 11 pas cher The physicians who prescribe these medicines are asked to carry the burden of administering death, a burden that physicians were never meant to carry. adidas original zx 700 femme Originally, the Hippocratic Oath said that a physician should not give poison to anyone even if asked to do so. mu legend zen nike tn homme 2017 bns gold adidas y3 hombre Physician-assisted suicide changes the role of the physician from doing no harm to doing what the patient asks whether it brings him harm or not. Governor Jerry Brown ultimately decided to sign the bill because he would want the option of physician-assisted suicide in the face of “prolonged and excruciating pain.” Not only does this fly in the face of medicine, but it ignores hospice and palliative care. mu2legendzen Adidas Zx 700 Homme air max 2017 goedkoop Rather than adopting legislation that would provide adequate comfort care to those populations that do not have access to it, something that is badly needed in our skewed healthcare system, the California bill and Governor Brown’s reasoning helps promote the notion that suicide is at best, as compassionate an option as palliative care, and at worst, the only option in the face of suffering at the end of life.

    Where Do Babies Come From? Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells…Sort of

    Recent headlines tout that it may be possible for same-sex couples to have biological children thanks to stem cell technology. Nike Air Max 90 Femme Léopard Using skin stem cells, scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Weismann Institute found that it is possible to make primordial germ cells, the cells that eventually form into egg and sperm (gametes), from induced pluripotent stem cells created from a donor’s skin. Air Jordan 9 For Kids The opportunity for same-sex couples to have biological children may take over the headlines, but it is not the only, or necessarily the primary reason, scientists are interested in this research. Maglia Chris Paul One thing scientists hope to do is to use this technique to study age-related diseases. Nike Air Max Thea Homme Bleu New Balance 577 hombre As we go through our lives, we accumulate epigenetic messages that tell genes when to turn on or off, when to make more cells, or when to stop making cells. Ryan Kerrigan Redskins Jerseys Recent research shows that certain cancers and age-related diseases are likely due to these epigenetic factors going awry. These epigenetic factors are “reset” in germ cells, meaning scientists can start over and see how these factors develop at the cellular level. There is still much research that needs to be done in this area, including questions as to which epigenetic factors are passed on and which ones are actually reset in germ cells (See Nature’s recent issue on the results of the NIH’s Roadmap Epigenetics Project here). While the epigenetic research is interesting, the headlines emphasize the reproductive possibilities.

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  • The why this technique can be used for two men but not two women has to do with how the cells are made. Primordial germ cells are made from skin cells are taken from each person to be converted into induced pluripotent stem cells. Those stem cells are then converted into primordial germ cells by turning on or off certain genetic factors involved in converting pluripotent stem cells to particular cell types. Female cells have XX chromosomes and male cells have XY chromosomes, but in order to make primordial germ cells that are precursors to sperm, researchers need a Y chromosome. Lead researcher, Dr. NIKE FLYKNIT LUNAR3

    Hannah pointed out, that it is easier to take away a chromosome than to insert one. South Florida Bulls Women don’t have any Y chromosomes to contribute, meaning that making primordial germ cells from women “is a long way off.” Finally, one of the more troubling factors in this research is that little has been said about the health and well-being of the children that would be produced from this technique. A key point in the original research article in Cell is that SOX17 is a key factor in the process of making primordial germ cells and likely plays an important role in gene regulation. This was surprising to scientists because SOX17 does not play a key role in mouse development. This means that even though mice have been used in prior studies on creating primordial germ cells, they may not be a good model system for creating the subsequent sperm and egg cells. Often before a procedure or a drug makes it to human trials, it is first tested in mice and then in primates. When it comes to human development, though, things do not translate from animal models to human models as easily. Nike Flyknit Donna Once scientists are able to take the primordial cells and advance them to egg and sperm cells, they will be able to create an embryo. However, because the mouse models are different, this is a case in which we have no way of knowing whether these embryos or the children will be healthy until the experiment is actually done. It is unclear from the interviews or the article if the assumption is that “unhealthy” embryos will die off before they implant in the uterus or how exactly researchers are expecting to test whether this technique work as another reproductive technology. Nike Heren

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  • If unhealthy embryos die, this poses an ethical problem for those that assume embryos should be granted dignity in their own right. But even if one does not accept that embryos are accorded a certain level of dignity, what about babies and children? What do scientists plan to do if the children born from this procedure are unhealthy or deformed? Finally, it is worth mentioning that this technique would provide a source of eggs, which are needed for various other reproductive techniques and research endeavors. adidas yeezy boost 750 m?skie For example, The UK just passed legislation permitting what has been dubbed “three-parent IVF” in which scientists transfer the nucleus from one woman’s egg to another woman’s enucleated egg that will then be used in IVF. The hope is to prevent mitochondrial disease which is genetically passed down to offspring from the mother. Air VAPORMAX Obtaining skin cells from a donor is much less invasive and poses less of a risk to the donor than obtaining her eggs after inducing hyperovulation.

    Indiana’s HIV crisis

    Indiana is dealing with an incredible HIV outbreak, centralized in Scott County. Shane Vereen The HIV outbreak has been directly tied to needle use for opiate drug users. nike air presto donna The Governor has called it a public health crisis, and while normally an opponent to needle exchanges, he is allowing for a 30-day needle exchange to curb the outbreak of HIV. Chaussure Adidas To give you a sense of the numbers, typically Scott County will see about five new cases of HIV in a year. Adidas Zx Flux Femme Rose They saw 26 new cases between mid-December and the beginning of March, and the count is up to 72 cases as of March 26. The cause of the cases has been traced to intravenous drug use of a liquid form of Opana, a prescription painkiller. New Balance 996 Donna

    Nike Air Max 2017 Heren Doctors in the area report that the drug addiction problem, like many other places in the US, has been going on for at least the last ten years, with increasing incidences of other blood-borne diseases from needle sharing and deaths due to overdose. Hogan Outlet Scott County is struggling against poverty as well as addiction. Nike Air Max Thea Homme Rouge Adidas Zx 850 Homme

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    Nike Air Max 90 Femme Sometimes people will experience some physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking pain medicine if they have been taking them for a while, but physical withdrawal does not necessarily mean the person is addicted. Even physical tolerance is not the full picture of addiction. Addiction has to do with seeking out a high, and in an effort to do so, the person becomes consumed with overcoming physical tolerance to the point that he or she may grind pills and take them intravenously or turn to heroin which is cheaper and sometimes easier to obtain. Scott County is seeing the effects of people sharing needles for opiate drug use. Adidas Zx Flux Femme Rose My article gets into both the neuroscience as well as the cultural and psychological factors that lead to addiction. nike dynamo free ps adidas gazelle homme grise Suffice it to say that one of the problems is accessibility to a substance that is too potent and too addictive to be administered for trivial reasons (such as tooth aches or minor aches and pains). Atlanta Hawks Prior to 1990, opioids were not typically prescribed as painkillers except for cancer patients. But in 1990, that all changed. Mike Hart Doctors wanted a solution to patients’ chronic pain, patients were desperate for relief, and big pharma was ready to profit from the situation. Asics Whiz?er damskie Fast forward to now. Manti Te’o College Jerseys The CDC reports that in 2014, physicians wrote 259 million painkiller prescriptions in a single year, the equivalent of one bottle of pills per American. Bradley Fletcher Cheap Nike Air Max UK Air Yeezy For Sale They have seen a four-fold increase in overdose deaths since 2000. nike air max thea print uomo Canotte San Antonio Spurs At the end of the Washington Post article reporting on Scott County’s crisis, Dr.

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