Big Pharma Seeks Expansion Following the Model of Illicit Drug Dealers

In Part I of this series, we looked at the emergence of an opioid epidemic in the U.S. that was fueled by the overprescribing of painkillers by doctors in every corner of the country. Now that a concerted effort by the public plus governmental and non-governmental organizations has begun to push back and reduce the number of prescriptions being written, pharmaceutical companies are working out their Plan B.

Pharmaceutical companies have no plans to let their market shrink. So they are following the pattern of distributing utilized by the cartels several years ago. As marijuana began to be legalized in more areas and become more popular, and as painkillers became millions of people’s drug of choice, cocaine popularity began to fall in the U.S. What did the South American cartels do then? They increased their distribution in two areas: Australia and Europe.

Prescriptions going global

Western Africa became a staging area for shipments of cocaine to Europe. Countries with corrupt governments were selected and sometimes, the local population helping facilitate the shipments were paid in product. Australia began to seize more South American cocaine than ever before.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma are now softening up public opinion in other countries toward the use of opioid painkillers so they can penetrate these new markets with their addictive products.

The Los Angeles Times notes expansion plans for Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay. The Washington Post also notes that prescription drug abuse is becoming a worrying trend in other developed countries. In Canada, Australia and parts of Europe, non-medical prescription drug use among teens and young adults is already comparable to statistics in the United States. Numbers are also rising among high school and college students in the Middle East and even in China.

In one sentence, the Washington Post paints a devastating picture of what could be our global future: “Meanwhile, opioid overdoses appear to be on the rise globally.”

Fighting Back

Is it possible to fight back against this trend? Most of us don’t have a global presence but we can fight back in our own homes and our communities. It starts by educating children and other family members who might be susceptible to the overuse of drugs.

Here are some articles from the Narconon blog that can also help you prevent drug use.

And of course, if a person does become addicted, getting that person to rehab could be the path to saving their future and even their life. Contact us to find out how we have been guiding people back to lasting sobriety for more than fifty years. Our program is 100% drug-free so each person learns to rely on their own abilities, not a substitute medication.

Call us at 1-877-782-7409 today.

Click here to read Part I.


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.