Dopesick @authorBethMacy @littlebrownandcompany #addiction #bigpharma #government #doctors @absltmom

Reading this book is like a descent into the hell of addiction, the pharmaceutical companies that pushed drugs using doctored data, the doctors overdosing their patients, and the government that seems to pour money into trying to find a solution that doesn’t seem to have one.

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
“America’s approach to its opioid problem is to rely on Battle of Dunkirk strategies—leaving the fight to well-meaning citizens, in their fishing vessels and private boats—when what’s really needed to win the war is a full-on Normandy Invasion.”

“Opioids are now on pace to kill as many Americans in a decade as HIV/AIDS has since it began, with leveling-off projections tenuously predicted in a nebulous, far-off future: sometime after 2020.”

It’s a pretty sobering experience to read this book that presents where we were, where we have come from, and where we are now in the struggle to handle the opioid crisis that is sweeping this nation. Who do we blame for allowing our children, our brothers, sisters, parents, and family members who have succumbed to this crisis? As in everything there is enough blame to go around starting with the Purdue Pharmaceutical Company who falsified findings pushing painkillers onto an unaware public for profit. (Purdue Pharma L.P. is a privately held pharmaceutical company owned principally by parties and descendants of Mortimer and Raymond Sackler. In 2007, it paid out one of the largest fines ever levied against a pharmaceutical firm for mislabeling its product OxyContin, and three executives were found guilty of criminal charges.”)

However, try to sue a drug manufacturer and this will probably happen. “Unfortunately, pursuing compensation from pharmaceutical companies became a lot more difficult in 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies making generic medications can’t be held liable under state “failure to warn” laws.” Then perhaps what about the FDA? Aren’t they suppose to guard Americans against dangerous drugs? Guess again because “Government agencies, including the FDA, are protected by sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a legal rule that prevents the government or its subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without its permission.” What about the doctors who pushed these pills? Are they too culpable for enjoying lifestyles given to them by the drug makers for their ability to over prescribe and push medications onto an unknowing public?

How did this all happen? As in all things the answer is money. Meanwhile people are dying, people are becoming addicted, lives are lost, ruined, and the monetary toll that addiction takes on families, the economy, the moral fiber of a nation is counted daily in ERs across our nation, in homes, and in dark and dismal alleyways and flop houses. Is there something anything that can be done? How do we combat this when one pill, one injection can make a person a captive to a drug?

The author did exhaustive research on what works and what has been proven to be futile in the efforts to stem drug abuse. Imprisoning offenders, residential drug treatment centers that push abstinence, tough love, and other approaches seem destine to failure. The outlook is bleak and if one doesn’t have the money to enter treatment programs, there is not much to be done. Send them home with a shot of narcan so that when they overdose at least this time they won’t die. The drain on a family, on a community, on a nation as a result of this epidemic is not able to be measured. Is there an answer? There is no one size fits all answer. Addicts can and will relapse. Then there are those who so need these medications. Those who have chronic pain throughout their life and need the relief that pain medications can offer, that day free of pain, that night able to sleep. They, too seem to be caught up in the net of the opioid crisis. Where does personal responsibility come into play?

“The latest research on substance use disorder from Harvard Medical School shows it takes the typical opioid-addicted user eight years—and four to five treatment attempts—to achieve remission for just a single year. And yet only about 10 percent of the addicted population manages to get access to care and treatment for a disease that has roughly the same incidence rate as diabetes.”

When you arrest one dealer, four others crop up in their place says the author. Can we possibly win this war?

This book is a chilling look into a crisis that is sweeping our nation. “Americans, representing 4.4 percent of the world’s population, consume roughly 30 percent of its opioids.”

As a tragic aside… Five of the students I previously taught, have died due to overdosing on drugs. When does this tragedy end?

and here’s the author:

Beth Macy is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books Truevine and Factory Man. Based in Roanoke, Virginia for three decades, her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard.

12 thoughts on “Dopesick @authorBethMacy @littlebrownandcompany #addiction #bigpharma #government #doctors @absltmom

  1. These pharma companies are controlling too much of the medical treatment just to make a profit. I saw this in my practice till I nearly bid goodbye to it. It is a sad state in every country. But so far we don’t have the opioid addiction in our country YET.. but it scares me totally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent review Marialyce. It’s a rare person who hasn’t been affected by this crisis, either directly or indirectly. I hope things are turning around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Windsor, Ontario is one of the worst cities in Canada with the percentage of Opioid addicted persons, deaths etc. It is truly tragic. Excellent review, but it sounds too tough for me to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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