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Ryan C

A Pass for the Pill Pushers: Big Pharma is Not Held Accountable

America is at war.

While this statement could easily be applied to the seemingly endless quagmires in Afghanistan (and somehow still Iraq), I’m in this instance referring to a much more homegrown and deadlier war for Americans.

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Like the superpower Ming Empire before it, the United States is facing an opium war.

Of course, for us, instead of smoke dens and British warships to contend with we have a much more powerful and flexible foe who has evaded countless attempts at its livelihood for nearly a century. Our enigmatic beast is obviously big Pharma.

While the American ‘war on drugs’ has been waged for decades upon decades, the number of users of all manner have only increased. Surprise… prohibition doesn’t work. But while that’s less a surprising/concerning trend and more an ‘I told you so’ moment, much more genuinely troubling is the skyrocketing rate of opiate addiction and related deaths in America.

The onus of the drug war has always been emphasized on illegal drugs, with widespread illicit imports like cocaine garnering most federal attention. Even when the scope shrinks to solely opiates the focus of the feds is clearly on heroin, an extremely illegal substance.

But talk to any struggling addict and you’ll learn what they already know to be the truth; heroin isn’t the source of the epidemic, it’s merely a symptom.

One thing people not familiar with the heroin scene (which is a good thing) tend to find most surprising is heroin is not regarded by addicts, dealers, or professionals addressing the crises as even remotely an upgrade on prescription pain pills. Next to nobody starts out on heroin, which is cheaper to an extreme compared to prescription pill’s street prices that can reach nearly $100 for a single massive dose pill; a general rate to keep in mind for street sales of, say oxycodone, is $1 per mg of the ‘good stuff’. Instead, addicts might be forced to turn to heroin when the highs just aren’t doing it anymore; but much more common is for the simple fact that they can’t economically sustain popping pills they prefer.

The pills commonly find themselves sold on the street, be it by non-addicted average folk who have their hands on a hallowed prescription for a health issue, or more malicious actors working semi-legitimately within the wild world of pharmaceuticals.

Opiate addicts are hardly universally ‘shady street rats’ rather they’re athletes, doctors, lawyers, even grandmas. Americans who would never dream of finding themselves in a situation leading to addiction, consistently find themselves spiraling into one which many times leads to death. To understand why you need only look at the numbers to see it isn’t cartels or street pushers, its doctors and pharmaceuticals.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse has time and time again proven this to be the case, with data displaying about 80% of heroin users were hooked on pills prior to even trying heroin for the first time. Now while that statistic alone doesn’t implicitly condemn pharmaceuticals, compound that with irrevocable and settled cases of egregiously pushing opiates and the case is closed.

While America is trying to wake from its addled stupor to combat the now National Emergency that is the opiate crisis, it might be a good idea to listen to the actual addicts when listening to the culprits. Instead, pharma has only gotten bigger, stronger, and less enforced against.

We may not be facing a British blockade, but the American Empire might be more at risk of collapsing in a poppy induced coma of addiction and economic burdens than Pfizer would have you believe. Hopefully, we wake up.


6 Comments
  1. Post Author

    Blame the DC Swamp Estd for this mess, lobbying, favors, etc & WE LOSE. IE we cant even get Medical Marijuana to go nationwide due to Federal labeling as “dangerous” I agree its dangerous for Rec use NOT Medical use.
    & same for other Holistic RX remedies too ,Tired of paying for Corporate Pharma with Big Unions, Business etc IE Buy a Used Tesla vs
    New GM since U pay Union dues in New GM etc,same for Big Pharma.
    & Lives are LOST due to Big Pharma regs.

  2. Post Author

    why not get to the point, why can’t you tell what is important on the first page so I don’t have to see all this bullshit advertising

  3. Post Author

    The Heroine coming in is fentanyl. The Cocaine is crystal Meth and the only thing the addict wants are the pills. For people whohave legitimate pain issues it’s a nightmare. Thr truth is the pills fall off a truck, someone picks them and pharma is in business. No amount of regulation will stop that

  4. Post Author

    Why are you mentioning Pfizer? Oxycontin is made by Purdue. This article isnt well written and is illuding to some facts without substance to back them up. The reason the death rates are up is that Fentyl is being added to Heroin by many of the drug cartels. Fentyl is easier because they can make it in a lab without having to grow it outside like they do Heroin, and the cost margins are 100 times better. Also, with pot being legally in many states now, the market for illegal pot from Mexico doesnt exist anymore so the drug cartels are trying to make up that lost money with heroin and Fentyl. it is estimated 12% of the economy in Mexico is from illegal drugs- so this isnt going to just stop when it is a way many make a living and it is lucrative. The govt. is doing NOTHING>
    It is well known that Portugal has a great rehabilitation program and they have decriminalized drugs. If anyone in the government really wanted to help the addicts, they would follow that protocol.

  5. Post Author

    I am a 25-year sufferer of cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder in the same family as Parkinson’s, a painful illness that causes constant muscle spasms and disabled me at the age of 41. Opioids are the only treatment measure that have brought me some relief. My pain management doctors, who I have seen for more than a decade, are now scared to prescribe me the same amount of medication as in years past and are currently weaning me off opioids completely. I have never taken more than the prescribed amount, pass urine tests and pill counts and have never missed an appointment. What will I do? Just because the drug is gone, the pain isn’t. He is afraid the DEA will take away his license. I, along with millions of other chronic pain patients, are in more pain simply because of the government’s crackdown on prescription opioids.

    Many chronic pain patients are committing suicide their suffering is so great. Decreases in opioid production, CDC guidelines, state dosing and morphine equivalent maximum legislation are taking our treatment out of our doctors’ hands for fear of government crackdowns. While prescription opioids have been the focus, overdoses continue to rise, indicating a street/illicit opioid problem with illicit Fentanyl and heroin.
    According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 4,050 total overdose poisoning deaths in 2016. Of those deaths, 13.9% or 564 were from prescription drugs of all kinds; 58.1% or 2,354 were from illicit Fentanyl; 35.7% or 1,444 from heroin; 27.4% or 1,109 from cocaine.

    Do not make us pay for an addiction and overdose problem that does not come from our chronic pain patient community. Chronic pain patients in fact have a 2 percent or less addiction rate according to studies.

    The Government speaks of promoting alternative treatments and working to have insurance pay for them. Please understand these treatments cannot simply be exchanged for opioid treatment. Most of us on pain medication either make use of complimentary/alternative treatment in conjunction with opioid treatment or have spent years, as I did (15 years in fact) trying every type of alternative treatment before any doctor finally suggested opioids and we considered using them as a treatment. Many alternative treatments have failed, can make us worse, or have taken every last dollar we had.

    I beg of you to recI am a 25-year sufferer of cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder in the same family as Parkinson’s, a painful illness that causes constant muscle spasms and disabled me at the age of 41. Opioids are the only treatment measure that have brought me some relief. My pain management doctors, who I have seen for more than a decade, are now scared to prescribe me the same amount of medication as in years past and are currently weaning me off opioids completely. I have never taken more than the prescribed amount, pass urine tests and pill counts and have never missed an appointment. What will I do? Just because the drug is gone, the pain isn’t. He is afraid the DEA will take away his license. I, along with millions of other chronic pain patients, are in more pain simply because of the government’s crackdown on prescription opioids.

    Many chronic pain patients are committing suicide their suffering is so great. Decreases in opioid production, CDC guidelines, state dosing and morphine equivalent maximum legislation are taking our treatment out of our doctors’ hands for fear of government crackdowns. While prescription opioids have been the focus, overdoses continue to rise, indicating a street/illicit opioid problem with illicit Fentanyl and heroin.
    According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 4,050 total overdose poisoning deaths in 2016. Of those deaths, 13.9% or 564 were from prescription drugs of all kinds; 58.1% or 2,354 were from illicit Fentanyl; 35.7% or 1,444 from heroin; 27.4% or 1,109 from cocaine.

    Do not make us pay for an addiction and overdose problem that does not come from our chronic pain patient community. Chronic pain patients in fact have a 2 percent or less addiction rate according to studies.

    The Government speaks of promoting alternative treatments and working to have insurance pay for them. Please understand these treatments cannot simply be exchanged for opioid treatment. Most of us on pain medication either make use of complimentary/alternative treatment in conjunction with opioid treatment or have spent years, as I did (15 years in fact) trying every type of alternative treatment before any doctor finally suggested opioids and we considered using them as a treatment. Many alternative treatments have failed, can make us worse, or have taken every last dollar we had.

    I beg of you to reconsider your approach and spend some time to understand the thousands or millions in Ohio that suffer chronic and intractable pain and are losing their opioid treatment, the only treatment that allows us to function a bit in life, or for some, to work and be productive citizens. I beg you to look beyond the opioid hysteria and stereotypical narrative and understand we are the other side of the opioid crisis.

    I would like you to reconsider your thought process and spend some time to understand the thousands or millions in Ohio that suffer chronic and intractable pain and are losing their opioid treatment, the only treatment that allows us to function a bit in life, or for some, to work and be productive citizens. I beg you to look beyond the opioid hysteria and stereotypical narrative and understand we are the other side of the opioid crisis.

    Sincerely,
    Claudia Surovjak

  6. Post Author

    This note is to the person with cervical dystopia. I have the same thing you do, but I get myobloc (a form of Botox) injections every 3 to 4 months and my pain is gone and so are my muscle spasms. One time I went for two years without having to have these injections. They relax the muscles and the pain. Go to a good neurologist and ask him/her to get you started on myobloc injections.

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