With the drug economy, there are externalized traumas. I imagine them moving in a huge circulatory system, like the Gulf stream, or old trade routes. We give you money and guns, lots and lots of money. You give us drugs. The guns destroy. The money destroys. The drugs destroy. The pain migrates, a phantom presence crossing the border the other way from the crossings we hear so much about.
The drugs are supposed to numb people out, but that momentary numbing effect causes so much pain elsewhere. There’s a pain economy, a suffering economy, a fear economy, and drugs fuel all of them rather than making them go away. Think of it as another kind of GNP – gross national pain – though I don’t know how you’d quantify it.
Rebecca Solnit - The US imports billions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs, numbing its own pain, while it exports a war of horrifying violence