The real war on drugs: America’s opioid epidemic | Foreign Correspondent

The real war on drugs: America’s opioid epidemic | Foreign Correspondent

What did he take? I don’t know… I don’t know sorry. Okay let me get my gloves on. I’m going to hit him with Narcan, okay? What’s his name baby? It’s a deadly addiction claiming more lives
than car crashes or even gun violence. Where’s 108? Tear open package and remove pads. It is now safe to touch the patient. Start CPR. More than 900 Americans from all walks of
life now die each week from opioid drug overdoses. It’s a national crisis triggered by pain
killer pills. What I want the American people to know, the
Federal Government is aggressively fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts. Two million Americans are now addicted to
prescription or illicit opioids – four times the number of twenty years ago – and a brand
called Oxycontin led the way. That drug just about wiped this county out. It was so powerful. There are more injection drug users in San
Francisco, than there are high school students. The scale of it is absolutely huge. It’s block after block after block of people
of all ages, races and gender in various stages of addiction. Some looking like they’re right near the
end of their journey, others just starting out to go down the same dangerous road and
I have to say it’s really confronting seeing so much of this. On the streets of New York, protestors are
clear on who to blame for the opioid crisis. The Sackler family are American Establishment. They built a $13 billion dollar fortune upon
their private company Purdue Pharma. Purdue created Oxycontin, a highly addictive
prescription painkiller. It’s an opioid, double the strength of morphine. People die. Sackler’s lie! The Sackler’s are big philanthropists, donating
millions to America’s prestigious museums and galleries. I was addicted to Oxycontin. They were trying to say that it was for peace
of mind and social calm. I took it for those reasons and I ended up
locked in my room for three years. Renowned photographer, Nan Goldin, leads a
campaign to shame these grand institutions into rejecting the Sackler dollars. We’re here to call out the Sackler family
who’ve become synonymous with the opioid crisis. We’re here to call out all the museums who
allow the Sackler name to line their halls, tarnish their wing, who honour the family
who made billions off the bodies of hundreds of thousands. Inside the Sackler funded Guggenheim Museum,
a reminder of a boast by Purdue President Richard Sackler that Oxycontin would generate
a blizzard of prescriptions and billions in profits. And the Sackler’s continue to profit off
the bodies of four hundred thousand people. The elusive Sackler’s never speak to the
media. But now, across America, the victims are coming
for the family in a fight back that could become the biggest class action in US history. We have to bring down the Sackler family. They should be in gaol, next to El Chapo. Deep in the Appalachian Mountains of West
Virginia rise the town of Welch. Capital of McDowell County, one of the poorest
in the country. McDowell leads the nation in per capita overdose
deaths. About 20% of the community is addicted to
pills, heroin, alcohol or ice. The abuse is largely hidden behind crumbling
facades. There’s a burnt out building there… used
to be a school building. McDowell County was a thriving county at one
time, early 50s and late 60s and even in the 70s when I graduated from high school in 1973. Anyone could get a job anywhere that you wanted
to with the mining industry. Martin West is County Sheriff. This former miner witnessed the decline of
the local coal industry and downward spiral. The County has probably torn down hundreds
of houses that have become dilapidated and people have moved out and left, went to other
states and other counties. A part time missionary who served in Haiti,
is now trying to save his own community. People wouldn’t think that this is America. No. Honestly, it’s like being in Haiti. It’s been pretty bad. You couldn’t find a job and people turned
to drugs and alcohol because they were overwhelmed with the depression and the mental anguish
that they were suffering. It’s just like the pharmaceutical company,
a billion dollar industry, they find depressed areas and they know lots of people there got
problems and then they introduce them to this and that – pills and drugs of any type. And that’s what they do. Patients in pain often have problems finding
effective relief. Purdue aggressively exploited this ready-made
market with its new high potency pain killer, Oxycontin – even giving out free starter
packs. Less than 1% of patients taking opioids actually
become addicted. What was an end of life medication, was at
the Sackler’s direction, dispensed for everything from emotional distress to bad backs. This medication does not turn you into a zombie. It has turned me into an active person again. I got my life back. Now I can enjoy every day that I live. I can really enjoy myself. I am kind of ashamed of it but I’m honest
enough to say, yeah I’ve been down the beaten path before. I’m trying to clean up and I have been for
a minute now. Just trying to do better and stay that way. A month out of rehab and Rocky Kuhn is determined
to break the grip of addiction that’s devastated his family. My mother, of all people, my mum, she did
it. She battled it. She was a… a lot of the doctors they’ve
been getting arrested for writing prescriptions and my mum’s doctor was one. My mum died. She died in a car wreck but addiction was
her best friend. I know me personally I didn’t do drugs. My mum died, my life fell to pieces and I
jumped headfirst into all of them. Rocky grew up in a neighbouring county. It wasn’t just at home but at school too
that he was mourning the casualties of Oxycontin addiction. In my graduating class, probably a third of
them are dead already. I’m just thirty-three years old. There’s no sense in it. It’s all drugs. It’s fed into the community that’s just…
we didn’t have a chance. None of them, nobody had a chance. It’s just addiction is a real thing. I started when I was twelve. I had five state championships, Tri-State
Golden Gloves Championship. Rocky’s dad, a local schoolteacher, put
together this boxing gym to get people off the street and away from poverty and drugs. Redemption in the ring. This is my world. I love this place. I love boxing. It’s a way of talking. It’s one way of getting to know somebody,
when you throw hands with them and you earn respect. Other places that I used to live in, I find
the trouble. And at least here, I’m on my skateboard
or I’m in the gym or I’m working out, you know and it’s something more productive
than street life. Just down the road in the town of War, is
one source of McDowell County’s misery. We had a drug bust up here about a couple
of weeks ago, we arrested about eight and every time we get out like this and go up
and down the different areas of the county, people will come up to me and want to give
me a drug tip. But the biggest dealers were legal, pharmacies
like this one, dispensing massive quantities of what derisively became known as Hillbilly
Heroin – in total, 12 million pills were dumped in a county of only 20,000 people – pushed
by compliant doctors and pharmacists. These are the small operations, they call
them pill mills and they were closed down because of the situation. We’ve had several of them within McDowell
County and this is one of them. They’re wanting to make the money fast and
see how much damage they can do is what my observation of them is. Sheriff West is furious that it took 15 years
before tighter controls were finally imposed on Oxycontin. In 2007 Purdue was fined $880 million dollars
for misleading doctors and patients on the drug’s addiction risks. By then, it was too late. That drug just about wiped this County out
it was so powerful. And it was the talk of the town and the talk
of the county, the talk of the state. And every night on the news you’d hear of
someone dying in the state or in other states because of Oxycontin. And it was so addictive and they knew that,
the pharmaceuticals knew that. Welch has been ground zero of America’s
opioid crisis for about 2 decades now and while it’s slowly strangling the life out
of towns and cities like this, it’s also spreading like wildfire right across the United
States. On the other side of the country, in one of
the biggest, most vibrant and best prepared cities with a long history of harm reduction,
they’re being swamped by the next wave of this crisis. San Francisco. Liberal. Rich. Tech capital of the world. Despite decades of experience in progressive
drug treatment, forged at the height of the AIDS crisis, the city’s buckling under the
weight of addiction. Downtown injecting drug user numbers have
tripled since the crisis first struck far off Appalachia. Though harm reduction programs have kept the
death toll lower than other cities. Don’t try this at home. There are more injection drug users in San
Francisco, about 25,000, than there are high school students – 16,000. And just a couple of blocks from here is probably
the highest level of population that we see in street use in heroin and homelessness. Inside City Hall there’s growing fury at
the Sackler family and their pharmaceutical company, Purdue. City Attorney, Dennis Herrera makes a direct
link between pills and heroin. Absolutely. I mean if you look at it, four of five injectable
drug users started on getting opioids, whether it be Oxycontin, prescription or non-prescription
pill taking. So there is a direct correlation between the
two. How much of a burden is this on your community
trying to deal with the mess of this opioid crisis? It’s incalculable. It’s hundreds of millions of dollars that
the taxpayers of San Francisco are forced to expend because of in some, at least to
some degree, for problems created by others. In terms of effort, we have been a pioneer. In terms of result, demonstrating the magnitude
of the problem, we have been overwhelmed. San Francisco has no joined 1600 other cities
and counties in suing Purdue Pharma and 8 Sackler family members who profit from the
company. It makes sense that we would use the full
power of our legal arsenal to make sure that those responsible for creating this epidemic
are held to account. The family itself from Purdue gets about,
I think it’s a billion dollars a year that inures to them in terms of payments that go
to the family as a result of sales of Oxycontin. That’s extraordinary! A lot of money. So they’re profiting while much of the rest
of the country is suffering. I think that’s a fair statement. On the streets, George has been living rough
for a while. He now shoots up heroin, but says nearly everyone
in this alley got their first taste with Oxycontin. Probably everybody started like that. Because that’s how you’re introduced to
the drugs you know is by pills. And little by little it’s like your money
gets tight, and you’re just like well where, where can I get something close to this but
cheaper? And then heroin, you know? I do sort of think that those pharmaceutical
companies do play a big role. That’s why my mom always used to tell me,
don’t trust doctors. They’re not your friend. You know, these doctors here are not anywhere
near your friend. Did your family contact you at all? What? Remember I helped you get shoes one day with
your mom. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Police here know the users. They have to balance treating this as a health
crisis, as well as a criminal problem, aware that George is battling to pay the multiple
daily hits of Mexican heroin. It’s just like a dime, you know ten bucks. You know ten bucks will get you, you know
a cool high. On a daily basis I probably spend like $50
to $80. It’s clear that addiction doesn’t discriminate. All over America it’s going on right now. And it’s all the youth, you know, is being
hooked on this shit. I just think it’s embarrassing you know
other countries aren’t going through this. There’s still poverty, a sense of desperation. There’s still public drug dealing and drug
use. San Francisco based drug expert, Professor
Dan Ciccarone travels the country, mapping the wreckage of the opioid crisis. He’s tracked Oxycontin use morphine to a
second wave of heroin injecting and now into an even deadlier third wave, a synthetic opioid
called Fentanyl, coming in from Mexico and China. Fentanyl’s about 40 times as potent by weight
as heroin. And so because of that sheer potency, we’re
concerned that it’s too much for the typical human to consume, therefore a higher risk
of overdose. There’s also a new, a fourth wave if you
will coming up right behind the opioid crisis which is stimulants. East Coast cocaine, West Coast methamphetamine,
we’re seeing a lot of new meth users out here. They’re mixing meth and heroin. I think we’re about half way through it. And I know that’s terrible bad news, but
if you see the rate of decline now, we are seeing a levelling off in the pill overdose
death, we are seeing a levelling off of heroin only overdose death. The Fentanyl curve is still going up. It’ll take ten years to get to baseline. George may not have that long. He’s graduated from pills – to heroin mixed
with meth – that’s now laced with Fentanyl. The daily fix has become a raging habit. Whoever is putting that shit into all the
drugs is smart because Fentanyl’s very addictive so if you spike that shit in very drug, every
user’s gonna feel it. You wonder why you keep coming back so quick
to get a hit, it’s because of the fucking Fentanyl in that shit, you know? That’s why I know I’m coming back every
thirty minutes for this shit. Because I could get high and go about my day,
but now it’s like that’s just calling me you know? It’s like you know it’s like a real, it’s
a fucking, like a King Kong on my back. We’ve been in all of these hotels here. We’ve taught people overdose prevention,
we’ve done HIV tests. Paul Harkin is another who knows these streets
better than most, delivering syringes and disease tests to the homeless. Like in the city there’s about a 122-ish
of these single room occupancy hotels, you know low income, some people are only allowed
to stay for 90 days. He’s a Director at GLIDE, a social justice
movement founded by the United Methodist Church, that for half a century has been saving lives. Organisations like GLIDE Harm Reduction are
absolutely what’s required to get us to begin to dismantle the war on drugs and start
to treat drug users with compassion and with evidence based intervention. From the last numbers we have were 2017 I
believe there was 72,000 overdose deaths nationally. I mean it’s just an incredible volume of
mostly preventable deaths. And our people in harm reduction know that
there has always been an opioid crisis in other communities and what we’ve seen here
is the changing demographics where more white people are being impacted by this. On any given night, we’ll give out maybe
3,000 to 5,000 syringes to people who inject drugs. Usually we give maybe 7 or 8 NARCAN kits for
people to prevent overdose. So the purpose of what you’re doing now
is to stop the spread of disease primarily. That’s the primary thing you know but, you
know what I’d say that’s part of it, but I’d say also part of it is just connecting
people. Then when the FDA started to clamp down on
Oxycontin, what we saw then was a lot of people who had developed the habit of having to switch
to heroin and we saw a sort of explosion of people looking for heroin and then subsequently
fentanyl. We’re seeing more fentanyl enter cuts in
the drugs and overdose deaths this year are going to be up. I’ve OD’ed several times and I’m still
here. You know I’ve tried to hurt myself a few
times too … I’ve been through it. Alicia has been using drugs for decades and
knows the reality of that deadly shift. Right now I’m really struggling right now
because I’m out here by myself. My family members now… they won’t hardly
talk to me too much anymore because of where I’m at and what I’m doing. Just across town, GLIDE’s gospel choir reaches
out to San Francisco’s elite. Love is the answer. They mingle with America’s most famous recovering
Oxycontin addict, former Democratic Congressman, Patrick Kennedy. Son of a late Senator, nephew of an assassinated
President. He deploys the political star power of the
family name. There’s no question that this was a drug
that knew no socioeconomic, gender, background. It really was meant for anybody who was unsuspecting
and if that person also had a high propensity for addiction as I did, then it was off to
the races the moment it was prescribed. Love is the answer. They over marketed a clearly addictive drug
called Oxycontin, knowing full well that it was addictive, much like the tobacco industry
knew for generations that cigarettes were addictive but refused to acknowledge it. Tonight is about fund raising for hospital
beds to treat those felled by the spin cycle of drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness. If it’s good enough for cardio vascular
disease, if it’s good enough for cancer, it ought to be good enough for mental illness
and addiction which affects every single family in this great country of ours. Thank you very much. It’s a test Kennedy says the Trump White
House and Congress are failing miserably, allocating barely 20% of the funds dedicated
to fight HIV at the height of the AIDS crisis. I was serving on the President Trump’s opioid
panel on recommendations to fight this epidemic and I was shocked knowing as we all do, that
President Trump comes from a family that has been impacted by alcoholism and addiction,
that he would not take this historic moment and really run with it. The well-heeled crowd dig deep, a half a million-dollar
pledge here, a million-dollar donation there. Patrick Kennedy wants billions more from the
Sackler family and Purdue Pharma. There is no doubt in my mind that we’re
going to get a tobacco sized verdict against Purdue Pharma and those who are also culpable
in this conspiracy and this corruption. Purdue Pharma continues to deny any responsibility,
accusing critics of exaggeration, blaming users and drug dealers for the crisis. The company’s considering declaring bankruptcy
to head off the looming avalanche of lawsuits. 130 Americans now die of opioid overdoses
every day. Time is not on the side of those at the bottom
of the opioid spiral – they may not live to see a settlement. You know when you’re involved in an addiction
like this, it’s hard. And it’s sad, you know? Because you feel so lost and alone. You feel like you have nobody.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. CDC’s analysis, based on 2015-2016 data from 31 states and Washington, D.C., showed:

    Across demographic categories, the largest increase in opioid overdose death rates was in males between the ages of 25-44.

    Overall drug overdose death rates increased by 21.5 percent.

    The overdose death rate from synthetic opioids (other than methadone) more than doubled, likely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF).

    The prescription opioid-related overdose death rate increased by 10.6 percent.

    The heroin-related overdose death rate increased by 19.5 percent.

    The cocaine-related overdose death rate increased by 52.4 percent.

    The psychostimulant-related overdose death rate increased by 33.3 percent.

    IMF is mixed into counterfeit opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin, and cocaine, likely contributing to increases in overdoses involving these other substances.

  2. So with all the law suits where will the money go? It should go to each and every one effected by this crisis! And the drug needs to be pulled. Now they are trying to sell to other countries.

  3. I almost died this weekend due to being forced to endure horrible chronic pain for over a year with ZERO help. I was in so much pain I was dizzy and vomited on a regular basis. Even after finally having a spine surgery scheduled to fix the problem I was still denied any pain medication. As a result I almost died of sudden heart failure in the hospital 2 nights after my surgery. I am only 35 years old and after extensive testing they could find no reason for me to be on the verge of a heart attack. But sudden dangerous drops in blood pressure, very high resting pulse rate, and alarming EKG tests they continued to fear I was on the verge of heart failure. I was finally told by the doctor he believed I had suffered so badly with pain, and lived in such distress for so long that my heart was literally ready to “ break down” and just quit. Like a engine that had running wide open so long it was ready to blow up. I was told that if I had gone much longer without getting this surgery and post operation pain control that I likely would have died of sudden cardiac arrest. So why is nobody talking about this!!! How many people like me have come close to death due to doctors refusing to treat LEGIT injuries that need pain help! How many people have actually DIED due to being denied Help for proven and LEGIT problem!!! When doctors would rather a patient die of extreme distress due to unbeatable pain rather than write a prescription we have a huge problem. Nobody talks about the skyrocketing suicide rates, and I think patient deaths resulting from refusal to treat real chronic pain, to the point a patient dies of a heart attack or stroke, would shock the world! In my opinion it should be CRIMINAL!! There’s a difference between a sore thumb and a severely injured spine. Most opioid deaths are herion or PILLS COMBINED with other substance like alcohol which they also never talk about. Medical patients overdosing on pills alone is very low. Overdosed are pills and drinking alcohol at a party. Stop punishing real medical patients!! I’m lucky to be alive and still not in the clear yet.

  4. I sniffed perks a few times I didn’t get addicted.. Makes you itchy don’t really get what all the fuss is about .. I rather blow any day. That’s a buzz you can enjoy 😊.

  5. And now innocent people who never abused drugs are killing themselves because they don't want to live with nerve pain. Stupid. Let the drug addicts die. Innocent people deserve pain relief

  6. If you use it as prescribed you wouldn't have to worry about this BASEHEADS… smh. Blaming the doctors. Tf 😂

  7. It's all the doctor's fault on this and the EPA DEA and other agencies and yes it sounds like Purdue is greatly responsible for the destruction.they should have put more restrictions they've had fentanyl out a lot longer than this I've had Dilaudid methadone Oxycodone , like the the 30mgRoxy Demerol I had cancer and needed it for pain for prescription when I was 13 so I do have an addiction I always will but these has to be done higher level. the doctor's are at fault they need to take it away from the person when I don't need it and they need to know when they don't need it I'm certain people do need their stripped of it and have to go to other things and now there's Suboxone and methadone will the cycle continues get off one and get on another

  8. See Oxycontin started this but then when Oxycontin is too expensive now they go back to heroin and that's just as much of a killer

  9. In Europe we still have the "O C's". But you will never find them out on the street. Opioids work wonders used properly. Don't blame it on the med. It's pointless.

  10. Pull your damn pants up, nobody wants to see your filthy underwear. Yeah you are so cool, any female checking you out is just another junkie.

  11. As Trump just signed into law $2 Trillion, with a T, dedicated to 5G infrastructure!!! No dollars for repairing roads, bridges, the power grid or helping homeless PEOPLE, and let's remember that these are people who came from families and even had families but now they're out on the streets and slowly dying minute by minute. And I don't know how the President can spend so much money on the 5G grid that is essentially a very expensive cancer causing grid that might make sure that video games and junk television will stream a little better. I want the executives from Verizon, AT&T and the other big cellular providers and their families to go and spend five years of living below or better yet, between 5G towers and see how much they like it.

  12. Decriminalization of All drugs will eliminate the cartels and treat drug addiction as an illness not a crime!!


  14. I've got a slipped disc and Sciatica. My GP keeps trying to give me prescription meds….. I said thanks but no thanks, I'll stick to trying CBD oil….. Although that's not having an affect and I don't know what else to do!? I've had an epidural and that failed as well! 😞 I really don't want to take prescribed meds but I also don't want to remain in severe pain 24/7

  15. What really sucks is there are those of us that have legit chronic pain issues and it’s become so hard to get our medications. The people who don’t abuse their medications and take them as prescribed for chronic pain disorders are suffering because of those who don’t. Or due to dumb ass doctors that wanted to get rich and pushed medication people didn’t need. When shit hit the fan with OxyContin the Dr’s who were legally prescribing it got scared and either stopped prescribing. Which is what happened to me, and sent you to a pain specialist. Then those Drs still scared of punishment cut your meds down so far that you live in bed due to pain. It’s not fair for those of us that the medication actually helps, to have to fight to get the medications and the dosages that actually help.

  16. The number of casually suicidal people is the epidemic. Guns and drugs don't kill people. People kill people.

  17. The owners of Purdue Pharmaceutical (makers of OxyContin) are not some amorphous corporate entity, but rather a single family: the Sacklers. The Jewish Sassoon and Sackler families controls the world's illicit drug trade. They flooded Asia with Opium centuries ago and continue to do so today.

    The Sacklers, a Jewish family originally from Poland, trace their wealth to the three Sackler brothers: Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond. In 1952, the brothers purchased the ailing patent medicine company Purdue and began to develop and ruthlessly promote controversial mass-market pharmaceuticals to American doctors.
    The Jews have been poisoning the Goyum for many centuries and will continue until the Jews are removed from the face of this Earth..

  18. So glad someone finally put a proper face on the always increasing poverty problem in the U. S. All I ever hear from people is how dirty and lazy the homeless are but the truth is this can happen to any of us. Some are just more lucky than others. So sad…

  19. Ah but what of the Chronic Pain Patient? Chronic Pain, a terminal disease for many. Not drug overdose. Most of them take responsibly if they are over 45 years of age, at minimum. Gotta have self control? I don't understand wanting to jeopardize that which helps one maintain some sense of quality of life. The "Opioid Crisis" has reached deep into the A.M.A. and has MD's scared shit they won't even treat chronic pain patients even if they are a pain care facility. What does the government do about these law abiding, self respecting citizens? Deny them the right to LIVE in Happiness or freedom to get out of the house and have some semblance of life PAIN FREE?

  20. I figure there’s a huge manipulation going on when late night TV hosts talk about issues like this pushing the exact same point of view

  21. I watched some under qualified incompetant .minority get the job,hire her friends,cant be fired, important social service agencies fall apart from this inconpotence

  22. Less then .5% of people who are prescribed Opiate pain medications ever become addicted according to the CDCs numbers. The so called Opiate Crisis is not a prescribed drug crisis as is being told to America it is instead a Herion, illegally imported Fentanyl and stolen pain medications crisis the vast majority of the Opiates that cause ODs are Herron laced with Fentanyl, and stimulants are fast becoming the next major drug crisis.

  23. We hear about the dangers of The Opioid Epidemic, Opioid Epidemic, Opioid Epidemic all over the New. What about the compliant medical patients who need Pain Medication just to get through the day? Many of these medical patients (some our family and friends) are now being denied their regular dosages of these medications by Pain Doctors who fear SCRUTINY from the All-Mighty FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Are Doctors violating their Sworn Principals of "Do No Harm' to their patients or are they justified by denying their patients the dosages of Pain Medication that they really need? When Government regulating agencies ignore situations like Drug Abuse for too long, they pass the blame on to others down the line, not accepting the blame. It's called 'Passing the Buck',,, Isn't this always the way this works?

  24. Ask Rush Limbaugh to become a spokesman, he being an expert on Oxycontin from having used so much of it and even got caught smuggling it.

  25. FIXING KIDS with Ritalin 
    so far as SPEED-Amphetamine THEY GIVE CHILDREN from 6 years old till they Graduate from High School and THEN THEY DROP THEM…. <— and many of those kids
    …. they have a habit of 12 years of government addiction
    and then they LET THEM GO
    many of them becoming addicted to poorly made amphetamine ruining their minds for life.

  26. Worst than crack epidemic, gun volient. So why is this epicdemic mostly white epidemic . Google in 26 states more white people are dying than being born. Facts. Lock them up was the cry for 80s crack Epidemic. Now they blaming everything and anything why these whites drugs addicts are on drugs and not blaming them. But on the news continues to demolize and blame black and brown people. While continuing to blame white people as mentally ill when they mass killings or killing no. Causing mass genocide on their on race. Sad.

  27. Řešíte důsledek ne příčinnu. Jak je možné, že taková sračka může být na předpis? To se stává, když jsou lidé až na posledním místě.

  28. Virginia was the first state that took in slaves. Think about the innocent slaves hanging from trees, this is karma. You can't build a country on blood and not expect the powers that be to not come after your blood. I hate to be negative but it's true. 🙄

  29. Col.Oliver North exposed our CIA involvement with IRAN CONTRA generations ago…nothing has changed. It went Global instead through multi nationals and now the politicians are in bed with them too.

  30. Yeah they are arresting people for it and the company made it a sacred right to all American's to take so figure that one out! Catch 22 ! How's that work???? Get them strung out and then arrested and make some money then there life is over and then they hope they die ! Makes me sick! Where's GOD???

  31. Number one, the problem isn't prescription opioids, it's fentanyl and heroine and that because of government intervention making it harder for patients to get the medication they need; and number two, no man has a right to tell another man which treatment he or she should pursue. Everyone has an opinion, but no one can truly say until they've walked a mine in another man's shoes. There are people who have no choice if they want to be able to walk and have some portion of a normal life, they need pain management. There are various options available, some work better than opioids, but most insurance doesn't cover it. So the best options are only for the rich, as usual. So I don't think it's our place to judge. These issues should be managed by doctors, not politicians.

  32. This fake drug war ruined my life. I got hit by a truck going 60mph on my door of a tiny car. They refused to give me pain meds until last month. I finally scared them to do their job. I was about to move to Mexico. I am stuck on $514 per month social security from not being able to work in pain. I wished that I died in that accident. I was mad at the doctors for saving my life to live in endless pain. I got very ill after. This caused worse pain than the broken bones. They diagnosed me as delusional. They treated me like a liar, drug seeker, and last insane. I have a genius IQ and know more than these dumb doctors about the pills they give out. I made my doctor look dumb. I proved with science that the pill she forced on me doesn't work. Every patient review says it doesn't work. I reported it to the FDA who will do nothing about it. I even put in my report that I know they will do nothing. I just did it to show my doctor that I am done playing games. I gave her a bad review using medical science to prove her failure on her website. I couldn't even get her to visit me in 2 years almost. I saw her for 5 minutes one day. She showed up fast after my review. I had to teach her how the dosage of the medication works. She didn't even know. They use some dosage calculator on a phone app. The thing defies science. Morphine is only 20% bioavailable. Oxycodone os almost 90% bioavailable. That means you have to prescribe about four times the dosage that you would with oxycodone. Doctors are too dumb to know this. They had me on 20mg every 12 hours on a slow time release. That is about 4mg total over 12 hours. That would not help an infant probably. I checked what dosage they give an infant. At my body weight, it was 36mg every 4-6 hours. They gave me 20mg over 12 hours. I am not an infant. I have a tolerance after 20 years of needing pain meds. Never trust any doctors. They often have no clue what they prescribe. Some doctors are amazing though. Do your research.

  33. The people twisted up and freezing in the streets in Philly aren't getting off whatever they're calling heroin now. That stuff made them inhuman .. it's disgusting if you really make the connection of how this is happening

  34. I’m an Oncology RN.

    What is really happening is that the public has NO idea that doctors are notorious for NOT properly prescribing sufficient pain control, such that patients are then in excruciating agony in the hospital.
    The doctors go on rounds and decide to suddenly pull someone’s chest tube out with absolutely NO anesthetic. The patient is SCREAMING in AGONY! Over and over again, doctors are profoundly SADISTIC regarding NOT properly premedicating patients, SO patients stop trusting them altogether and are in silent terror.
    Doctors are extremely rushed, so guess what the very first thing is that they’re going to cut? The patient’s pain premedication before doctors conduct an extremely painful procedure.

    THEN…MBAs in hospitals years ago decided to discharge post-op patients WAY too early (for profits), before it’s medically safe to do so.
    The bulk of patients have NO ONE medically trained to care for them post-op at home. The doctors ALSO notoriously don’t send patients home with prescription anti-emetics, so the patients are needlessly vomiting all night long from the adverse side effects of antibiotics and the pain meds (which are required).

    I have NO problem whatsoever knowing how to properly titrate narcotic pain meds for patients.
    I’m medically trained to do so. I know exactly how to dose them back down whereby they never
    become addicted post-op.

    BUT, for the media to go the completely opposite extreme agenda by absolutely prohibiting all patients who validly REQUIRE narcotics for pain management to cause them to now go into lethal physiologic shock with sky-high blood pressures (risking strokes) will ONLY force the public to seek the black market.

    BECAUSE…these same sadistic doctors who completely lack pain management skills and FORCE patients to have ZERO pain management in the hospital are now completely withdrawing ALL pain management everywhere.

    STOP this journalistic farce agenda to completely strip the public from even VALIDLY required pain management.

    The media’s agenda now is that not even end-stage cancer patients can obtain proper compassionate pain control. They’re absolutely out-of-control sadistic.

    Leave pain management to experts instead of this ignorant misdiagnosis by the government and the media.

  35. San Francisco needs to seriously crack down on their psychotic liberalism. CRACK DOWN on it!

    The public started out on MARIJUANA! NOT Oxycontin!

    Then idiotic California and Colorado passed gateway drug marijuana clinics popping up everywhere because they profit from revenues from legally addicting the populace.

    They’re HUGELY drug-dealing marijuana which gateways to other serious drugs.

    STOP the rampant marijuana clinics! Stop being complete hypocrites. It’s like 2 government warring drug lords.


  37. Wake up americans who are using these pills .heroine,etc…wake up use your common sense please…….stop addiction……….

  38. Of course, for chronic pain this makes sense but eventually your body builds tolerance and addiction takes over. Leaving you with pain and addiction. This is not a long term solution or a short term. In the name of money capitalism will destroy the very fabric of our society.

  39. This problem has been going on for years the heroin is coming over from MEXICO way before they ever started prescribing the pills at doctors offices the people on the street shooting heroin are not the people who have gotten the prescriptions they've gotten the heroin from the streets

  40. I feel truly with all of my heart sorry for all of these poor people on the street. It’s like seeing an epileptic having repeated seizures while the people surrounding him are playing football with the medication. What’s the difference?
    What would happen to all of the hypertensive patients if blood pressure meds were taken away. They’re not addicted, but their body is dependent and they HAVE to have them

  41. Drug companies ARE NOT responsible for over use of opioids. When people are in pain they want relief. The true cause is the public school system. 30 years ago there was an initiative called the "Presidents initiative on Physical Fitness" that was implemented into every public school through out the country, that required every student from middle school thru high school to be timed for "running the mile" 2 times per year. Over this time period coaches and PE instructors have been using running very liberally for "warming up" students on a daily basis indiscriminately to prepare for sports or other activities. This practice has created millions and millions of young people who end up with what is called a "jammed body". I see it day after day in my practice as a massage therapist. It took me quite a few years to develop the ability to identify exactly what I was feeling, but I have absolute proof that forcing every student to run has destroyed our children's lives. There is about 5% of the population who have a body for running, The rest DO NOT. And should NOT be forced to run. The opioid crisis began 20 years ago, just 10 years after this Initiative was implemented. I found that it takes about 10-15 years for the severe symptoms to surface on about 30% of people. The surgeon generally recently stated that 1 out of 3 people in their 20's, 30's and 40's are on pain medication. This is clear evidence to support my findings. This "running" needs to stop. The human upright body was NOT DESIGNED for long distance running. IT is ruining lives!!!!! I will be glad to testify for any drug company or doctor who is being prosecuted for just doing their jobs. Doctors are trying to help people who are hurting, and drug companies are just supplying a demand. They DID NOT cause the pain people are in. The federal government did by passing this stupid mandate!!!

    And another thing. Why are so many military veterans committing suicide? Chronic pain and PTSD is not a recipe for a hopeful life. Military service men and women are also required to do an exorbitant amount of running through out the years of their service. I have not worked on 1 military vet who did not have a jammed body! STOP THE RUNNING. There are better ways to build muscle strength and cardio vascular endurance.

  42. The Opium Wars of the 20th Millennia. History has a way of repeating itself. In the late 1800s the western nations flooded China with opium. Now Chinese made fentanyl is wreaking havoc in the Usa.

  43. We know now, From court cases and Billion dollar settlements, that Big Pharma and health care Corporations have dumped drugs on to the people, in order to make a profit and corrupt politicians, took pay off's from Big Pharma to do nothing. The sad part, none of that settlement money will help anyone that has died, or is addicted, now or in the future and No one, not the officers of the Corporations that were paid millions in annual salaries or the corrupt Politicians will go to jail.
      With these same corrupt politicians saying that the people can't have free medical care and the #1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA being healthcare costs, while the politicians get free medical for life, "We the people" keep getting screwed and keep rehiring these same Corrupt politicians for public office .. "When will they ever learn"

  44. Here is a further addition to the collection of comments by those who have been harmed by the anti-opioid hysteria: 18. Now, if you have pain, doctors assume you’re an addict. And heaven forbid you expect someone to take you seriously if you have chronic pain! I know someone who went to the ER because she was having excruciating pain. She was given a few pain meds and referred to some doctors and pain clinics, which she went to, but in the meantime couldn’t care for herself because the pain was so bad. Every doctor treated her like she was a drug seeker because she has chronic pain and kept saying “This isn’t fibromyalgia pain. This pain is different.” She ended up in the ER twice more, begging them to run tests and find out what was wrong. They ran tests, but said it all looked fine. One ER doctor said she could be cured with diet, exercise, and mindfulness. Finally, I called my GP to ask if she’d see her and take it seriously. Turns out, she had a tumor on one of her ovaries along with a tumor growing on some nerves (hence the excruciating pain). She had other tumors as well because she has ovarian cancer. Oh, and the original CT scan taken at the ER was reread by her oncologist’s team and they saw various tumors that looked like cancer, along with other indications that it was cancer. That CT scan indicated to the doctor that a laparoscopic surgery wouldn’t cut it—this person needed open surgery. This was not a new CT scan. It was the same one the ER took and declared her fine.

  45. I was prescribed with opioid when I had an injury and a screw and anchor was attached in my shoulder.. my IVs were full of tramadol. When I went home, I have a bottle goid for 1 mo. When it was gone, I had insomnia, mood swings. I switched to alcohol… Just grateful, I have stopped. It was expensive. It is having a huge baboon perched on your shoulder for a long time and doctors, will say, YOU are responsible for your medicine intake! Whoa!!!

  46. White collar crime that ruined millions of lives, rarely get prosecuted and when they do the sentences given do not fit the crime. US systems is freaking broken

  47. Crazy stuff, 7 years ago I was injured after serving 12 years in the defence force, then to get shonky doctors prescribing me Fentanyl patches, I ended up on 300ug/hr after i was eating 1x100ug/hr patch per day, I switched over to Oxycontin to start reducing it down, my first day after withdrawing from the Fentanyl saw me eat and chew 800mg of Oxy just to get closer to normal from the Fentanyl withdrawal, the feeling of withdrawal was like nothing I had ever imagined or ever want to experience again, I would have shot myself if I had a gun that day, it was pure hell on earth for me for those hours on that afternoon.
    After that I began to slowly take control of it all and reduce down to where I am now, 8 x Panadeine Forte tablets per day and intend to keep going until fully clean, very soon too.
    I wish everyone the best, this is a horrible problem that does not discriminate, i was a Naval mechanical engineer for 12 years and my life changed dramatically after my injury and subsequent addiction to pain meds. Peace to everyone affected by this crisis. My humble advice, take control of the problem yourself, it is the only way, learn all you can about it, get to know your body, be kind to yourself and do not let anyone else manage you, manage yourself and get yourself clean slowly and responsibly.
    Going cold turkey has huge risks, please don't do this, just reduce down a tolerable amount each fortnight or month, this is the most successful way IMO. I have been fully functional and coherent for years using this approach and no-one even suspects I have been on this stuff unless I tell them, I have the same dose each day at the same time twice per day and never deviate unless I am on a withdrawal cycle.
    If you truly want off, you have the power to do it, believe in yourself and be disciplined and will become as easy as it can be if you truly want it.

  48. Methadone, Suboxone and others can be a life saver to many. We need to treat this as an illness with meds and counseling instead of jail time and fines. And how is the Sackler family NOT in jail?

  49. All of these opioid crises docs are liberal trojan horses. It's straight out the lib playbook. They set up who the victims are and who the villians are and all blame ends up being… you guessed it… President Trump. It's also an argument for universal healthcare, you know, the crown jewel power grab for the left. I feel bad for people who are addicted as depicted in this doc, but everyone has choices to make and the real reason people do drugs and continue to do drugs is because it feels good.

  50. When I hurty hand at work they tried to give oxycodone. After seeing what happened to people I know I threw that crap in the garbage and suffered through.

  51. Poor Sakler family! They didn’t do this but pain doctors who know nothing about opiates like my dumbass pain doctor didn’t, THEY did this!!!!

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