“DOPESICK” IS THE NEW HEROIN

“We need for people to understand who the villains are.” That’s right, you really, really do, at any cost

by Clark Miller

Published September 4, 2022

In America’s self-destruction and decay, while nothing is as it is and anything can be made to be known, truth emerges accidentally, by error or unguarded expression. As a slip, an anomalous distortion, as unintended, unconscious revelation of underlying needs. 

As creator Danny Strong explains,

“It really stemmed from shock, horror and rage at the actions of Purdue Pharma and how their allies had created so much destruction across the country for so few people to profit.”

Strong continues in the Reporter interview,

. . . we need for people to understand who the villains are and how these crimes were committed. Because they’re so shocking. And because they involved collusion with the highest levels of US government, the institutions that are supposed to protect us from criminals, like Purdue Pharma, in fact enabled Purdue Pharma. And then at the same time, the people that were the victims of Purdue were so stigmatized, and I had that bias as well. That’s how I viewed addiction, the way most people view addiction, before I dove in into this project, which is that it was a moral failure. It was people wanting to get high. I blamed people that were addicted for their addiction. When I came across the story and realized, ‘No, the opioid crisis, the heroin epidemic, 80% of those people started with prescription pain pills.’ That was, to me, such a tragedy.”

That is, Mr. Strong’s  understanding evolved – from problem use of opioids being due to a “moral failure” of users, then through intellectual awakening to his working out that the villains at Purdue Pharma somehow actually caused the hands of America’s licensed medical professionals (LMP) to write out the medically indicated-against prescriptions for the “prescription pain pills” Strong understands fueled the generation of the crisis. Likely, “Dopesick” may not explain how Purdue Pharma employees or members of the Sackler family actually caused the hands of those LMPs to write out the prescriptions. Hypnotism? By holding guns to their heads? Threatening harm to their families if they did not write the “flood” of prescriptions that created the crisis? Ha. Funny. Of course not.

They didn’t need to. All it took was . . . 

From a previous post – 

One point that Dr. Juurlink neglected to explain in his noting  “the fact that these drugs don’t work as well as we were taught and they aren’t as safe as we were taught” is that over the past decades of doctor overprescribing generating the opioid crisis,  what he and his fellow medical prescribers “were taught” didn’t come from the research established and available for decades, instead from pill salesmen. 

That’s right, pill salesmen. 

The Sacklers did not, could not, open a chain of retail outlets Americans could walk into and buy the opioids off the counter. No. Not a single opioid pill provided to living or dead Americans came to them from the Sackler family, from Purdue Pharmaceuticals, from any employee of a pharmaceutical or opioid manufacturing company. The only originating suppliers were licensed medical professionals meeting with patients in exam rooms, providing medical services to them, then writing prescriptions that supplied them with the opioids. Without their signatures, no opioids were dispensed.

Instead, what the evil Sackler family did was pay pharmaceutical reps – pill salesmen – to visit doctors (medical prescribers) in their offices during and between visits with patients and hold guns to the prescribers heads to force them to prescribe the opioids. And the reps forged their signatures on prescriptions, and they threatened harm or death to the families of licensed medical professionals if they refused to prescribe the opioids.

Ha! Funny. Of course they didn’t.

They didn’t need to. Instead, the pill salesmen – with exactly the level of qualification to understand and evaluate medical need and the research bearing on safety of the opioids as you would guess, that is, none – explained to the doctors that, against all longstanding evidence, these opioids are effective and safe for all forms of pain. And? Those helpful pill salesmen, conveying clinical understanding of opioid safety and use to America’s medical professionals, took them out to nice dinners, and lined their pockets with speaking junkets, where the newly educated doctors would explain to their colleagues the safety and need for the opioids, based on what they had learned, from salesmen.

Those physicians relied, with the health and safety of their patients at stake as with any medication and certainly for controlled substances, on the information provided them by those pill salesmen. Salesmen, not healthcare professionals or researchers.

The overprescription and misprescribing of opioids

has continued over the years and decades of an increasingly lethal epidemic, described here,

here,

here,

here, 

here,

and here

While continuing to misprescribe, decades into an increasingly lethal opioid crisis, America’s medical professionals only began protecting patient rights and health after forced to at risk of legal violation for failure to meet longstanding, established ethical requirements for any medical intervention – by providing informed consent.

From another previous post 

The extent to which we tolerate and enable the pretense of Big Pharma causing the neglectful over prescription of controlled substances to patients is absurd and pathological. It is terminal group think, literally, because the fearful failure to state and face what is obvious empowers continuing over prescription and predictable diversion, abuse and dependence.

Below: Have they learned?

To repeat: not a single opioid pill provided to living or dead Americans came to them from the Sackler family, from Purdue Pharmaceuticals, from any employee of a pharmaceutical or opioid manufacturing company. The only originating suppliers were licensed medical professionals meeting with patients in exam rooms, providing medical services to them, then writing prescriptions that supplied them with the opioids. Without their signatures, no opioids were dispensed.

And they wrote those prescriptions against all lines of longstanding relevant evidence.

Let’s try it more concretely:

Imagine a conversation between a trusting yet anxious parent whose child is diagnosed with a serious cancer and the treating medical specialist.

Parent: I really want to believe this medication can work and from everything you’ve said it’s what he needs. I’m just scared, with everything you read about side effects and dangers.

Doctor: Of course, but I do want to assure you that these medications are not only safe but effective as well.

Parent: It’s so confusing. My husband isn’t a doctor, but he Googled the medication and says it’s a controlled substance due to risk of serious effects, and no more effective than safer treatments, and can make the condition worse, and there are other effective treatments. He found that those things have been known for a long time.

Doctor: I would never recommend for someone not medically trained, like me, to attempt to gain information on something this important. I have years of training.

Parent: Thank you, thank you. I know you medical professionals must keep up with and review all the relevant information, especially about powerful medicines. You looked at the research thoroughly and talked to colleagues, other specialists, I’m sure.

Doctor:  Actually, I learned over several dinner engagements about the medications and how safe they are from a pharmaceutical expert.

Parent: Oh. So . . . he or she was a researcher sharing the research with you? A pharmacist, or expert on drugs or medicine?

Doctor: Well, not exactly. He was a pill salesman with no training in any of those areas. The dinners were lovely, and I’ve been compensated generously for sharing the information with other doctors.

Parent: You are joking of course?

 

See how that was done? It was easy. To out the absurdity, the lethal malfeasance? Anyone can. All it takes is a willingness to state the obvious, an absence of the cowardice that would otherwise prevent stating the obvious.

Back to “Dopesick” – 

“We Need for People to Understand Who the Villains Are”

is the headline.

Of course it is. It accurately, pathologically, lethally, describes the consensus of America’s expert/media/medical class attributing culpability for an increasingly lethal opioid crisis to the manufacturers and distributors of the prescribed opioids that blew up and continue to fuel the crisis. Obtainable only starting with a prescription written by one of America’s licensed medical professionals.

On its face and for America, that headline is critically, vitally important consumable, a soothing intoxicant, active by mass messaged assurances and distraction, cover stories, that relieve the real “villains” – the real drivers of America’s lethal substance use and mental health epidemics – of risk of exposure of accountability, of ownership of their real, causal roles in the epidemics, of the profound discomfort of truth and responsibility. Distractions and cover stories that rob an at-risk populace of the possibility of change, of relief and protection. 

The author, director, and others involved in the production of the necessary messaging, the Hulu series “Dopesick”, are doing their parts, crucially. Because if the Sackler family, Walgreens, other manufacturers or distributors of opioid pain pills – who had no means of providing those pills to Americans living or dead, no way to provide a single pill without the written and signed prescription for them by one of America’s licensed medical providers (LMP) –  cannot be identified as the “Villains”, as those responsible for the mounting deaths, the unrelenting deaths even as pandemic stressors fabricated as cover stories have dissipated, then . . .

Protests against the Sacklers

Then . . . it all falls apart, the façade that shields

those more directly responsible from view. The truth becomes increasingly difficult to hide, to lie about.

Then, America may be forced to face the real causes and forces perpetuating the lethal crises.

Without the distracting, soothing lies like those of Hulu’s “Dopesick”, without America’s new heroin and the Medical/Media consensus it’s embedded in, Americans could be at risk, susceptible to very dangerous truths (“disinformation”) and impressions about the increasingly lethal epidemics.

Americans could come  face-to-face with, to see, accurately,  that –

The real villains are the American expert class and institutions including media – described in Sam Quinones’ “Dreamland”  – who collaborated to fabricate lies about the safety and effectiveness of opioids for all pain, enabling runaway opioid overprescribing.

The actual forces hijacking the brains of young Americans – sources of lasting emotional pain and psychological deficits that set up vulnerability to and prediction of problem substance use later in life – are dysfunctional American parents and families inflicting on their children harm, “adverse childhood experiences” (ACE), not the drugs.  

The real, ultimate gatekeepers, the professionals trained, entrusted, and responsible for understanding risk, need, safety, the relevant research, and appropriate use of all medications, to avoid harm to their patients, to inform their patients of those risks, are American medical professionals.

Members of America’s Media, entrusted under democratic principles of a free, corrective, watchdog press with the task and responsibility to courageously challenge information and expose untruth to protect Americans, instead protect their corporate owners and masters, trading away those responsibilities for careers.

emergency response to overdose

No wonder America needs its scapegoats and cover stories, its pain relief – facing those established truths would come much too close to home, would be an indictment of America itself, the greatest nation in the world. 

 

No wonder America needs its pain killers, the distracting lies

American parent:

Adverse what? Who didn’t have a rough childhood? My drinking and the abuse and neglect? I got in a spiritual program and gave all that over to my Higher Power. And I made amends. So that wasn’t it. Where do you think that car he was driving came from, before my kid overdosed? 

If he just woulda done what works and go to his meetings, but he couldn’t accept his lifelong disease and  work the steps. He hated his disease

Anyway, it was the Sacklers that made him an opioid addict, everybody knows that now. It’s on TV, everywhere.

It was that bad family. 

They need to pay. Then this opioid problem can stop.” 

America: 

The doctors? With all that training? And competence

They’re doing what’s right and exactly what their patients need! They don’t need to be controlled or restricted. 

Where would I get the antidepressant, that SSRI that treats the depression  I still have, that  I’ve been on the last 20 years, if it wasn’t for my doctor?

And the pain medication for my lower back? They won’t pay for surgery, all the specialists keep saying there’s nothing wrong. God bless my doctor for the pain pills. 

And where do you think I get my gabapentin for my fibromyalgia? 

And my Seroquel for sleep? It sure knocks me out! Thanks doc.

I don’t know what I’d do without the speed – I mean Adderall –  I need for my Adult ADHD. That’s a real thing ya know, adult ADHD. My doctor diagnosed me on the spot, just like that, so now I finally got something to take for it. 

Everybody knows now, it’s big pharma causing the problem with opioids – that’s everywhere, it’s on TV, it’s what the experts say. How can anybody doubt that? And somebody poisoning everybody with fentanyl, like the Chinese or Putin? That’s what it is. 

Leave the doctors out of it. They give us exactly what we need.”

From all appearances, that seems right – America is being provided exactly what it needs and wants and at a cost, apparently, that is acceptable. 

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

Pierre Bourdieu - Outline of a Theory of Practice 1972

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