AMERICAN OPIOIDS EPIDEMIC
In the now two-decade-long opioid epidemic in the U.S., pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers, pharmacies, and doctors have all come under fire for the role they played in the surge of opioid addiction and death. One group, previously unnoticed and only just now coming under investigation, bears mentioning. As reports have shown, pharmaceutical distributors had just as critical a role in the opioid epidemic as other bad actors.
For anyone touched by America’s opioid epidemic and anyone who has followed the development of this crisis, as I have, Patrick Radden Keefe’s new book adds to our knowledge of the steps that must be taken to heal from our crisis of drugs abuse and overdoses.
In an alarming development in the ongoing litigation between thousands of plaintiffs against Purdue Pharmaceuticals (and the Sackler family that owns it), a federal judge just overturned the Sackler bid for bankruptcy protection and immunity. What does this mean for America’s most important pharma lawsuit?
Clinicians and families alike may not be aware of the risk posed by consumption of a readily available type of poppy seed. Despite this lack of awareness, this seed can result in addiction, overdose and death.
The United States just passed a grim milestone, the first time in recorded history when over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in one year. It’s a painful wake-up call, and a call to action that something must be done about the drug addiction epidemic.
The litigation of Purdue Pharma/the Sacklers is now over. One of the key aspects of the case that deserves full scrutiny is that Purdue’s owners threatened to withdraw settlement funds if they did not achieve personal immunity. In the end, they won.
Words and terms like “epidemic,” “pandemic,” and “national health emergency” have become commonplace in American society. These terms often make one think of the dangerous spread of communicable diseases and illnesses. Yet with almost 200,000 deaths in 2020 from drug-related causes and alcohol-related causes, is it time to look at addiction as America’s next National Epidemic?
There is compelling evidence that suggests opioid addiction and overdose rates soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. Was this a direct result of Covid-19? Or was it a continuation of America’s opioid addiction epidemic?
The changes of the last several years must be tracked and understood if we are to reverse the terrible losses imposed on our country by those who make and traffic in fentanyl.
While there is no question that the United States is struggling with an addiction crisis of epic proportions, some of the more telling details of the crisis are not broadly discussed. For example, what could we learn by examining what age range of Americans is most likely to die from drug abuse?