Donald Trump's Votes Comes Highest in Regions Hit Hardest By Drug

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Dec 06, 2016 04:56 AM EST

According to a new research paper, Donald Trump  was especially successful in winning votes in regions that was hit hardest by drugs and alcohol abuse.

Shannon Monnat, a Penn State Sociologist examined the election result and zeroed in on region ravaged by "deaths of despair". This is the term employed to describe the fatal effects of alcohol, heroin and prescription opiates on people across the country, but especially white, middle-aged Americans, whose mortality rates have been rising in recent years.

Monnat had found that in Appalachia and New England, Donald Trump had out performed Mitt Romney by 10  percent in the counties with highest morality rates.

In the Industrial Midwest, by 17 percent. The trend also applies locally, to Suffolk County and Staten Island, which flipped from Obama to Trump and have experienced rising numbers of drug overdose deaths.

Primarily white Americans without college degrees, were being jarred not simply by the loss of jobs or income but by the understanding that hard work doesn't necessarily translate into success, Monnat said.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the Co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, said Monnat's research doesn't explain why the Pacific Northwest did not go for Trump, despite an opioid crisis there. Or, why states like Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming went for Trump despite lower rates of opioid abuse.

Kolody also said that to the extent that there were many working class white voters who went for Trump because they feel that government has failed them, I think that the opioid addiction epidemic is an example of government failing these groups. Because their families, their communities have been devastated by prescription opioids and heroin, and yet the federal government really ignored the problem, up until very recently.

Kolodny and Monnat hope that Trump will deliver on his promises to address the drug epidemic, including a tough stance on Big Pharma.

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