An­other twist to the drug war

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

Em­ploy­ees at Pal­metto Health Rich­land hos­pi­tal in Columbia, S.C., thought there was some­thing sus­pi­cious go­ing on in a pa­tient room re­cently. The Columbia Po­lice Depart­ment con­firmed that they were right: A 44-year-old man who was a pa­tient at the hos­pi­tal was charged with pos­ses­sion with in­tent to dis­trib­ute heroin af­ter of­fi­cers found 21 pack­ets of heroin in his room, worth about $420, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice news re­lease. A Pal­metto spokes­woman de­clined to com­ment.

The story re­minds Out­liers of an­other pa­tient who’s ac­tive in the drug trade, al­though he’s far­ther up the pyra­mid than a dealer. Wal­ter White Sr. of Albuquerque, N.M., is a for­mer high school chem­istry teacher who has turned to cook­ing crys­tal metham­phetamine to pay for his cancer treat­ment and pro­vide a stash of cash for his fam­ily af­ter he’s gone. He’s also a fic­tional char­ac­ter, the star of TV’s “Break­ing Bad,” which be­gan its fourth sea­son last month.

Moral ques­tions aside, Walt at least has this go­ing for him: His cancer is in re­mis­sion. And he’s never been ar­rested.

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