By Clark Miller

Published April 8, 2020

Updated April 16, 2021

In Philadelphia hard hit by the opioid crisis, some great news, riveting news for consumers of mass media –

It makes for great news. Uplifting, hopeful, heart-rending.

In the decades-old, worsening epidemic that takes more and more American lives, with no signs of the continuously promised medical cure for opioid and other substance use epidemics, here’s something akin to a miracle for TV news viewers – opioid addicts being saved, getting into rehab, their lives turned around, and by heroes who are just who we need them to be – doctors and former “addicts” in a heart-warming story of compassion, redemption and triumph of American institutions.

Great news . . . except it’s not. At all.

It’s fake, lethal and predicts continued and worsening harm

to the increasing number of Americans trapped in the crisis generated by medical institutions and by the failed criminal scam of “addiction treatment”, or “rehab”. Just as was the fabricated news constructed a few decades ago by medical, research and public health oversight institutions along with major media to create the lie that opioids would be safe and effective for pain.


Addiction Treatment

Medical treatment for addiction

All decades-old, failed, expensive entitlement systems that are established by the evidence to predict failed outcomes, to worsen substance use epidemics, to be lethal.

Evidence like that consistently accumulating establishing that “medication assisted treatment”, MAT, is worsening the increasing lethal opioid epidemic, predictably so.

Evidence that has invalidated the fiction that addiction is a disease, or a medical condition at all.

Evidence establishing that “addiction treatment” in the U.S. is in fact a criminal scam without benefit to Americans increasingly trapped in its revolving door, delivered by a workforce of non-professionals not trained or qualified to treat any type of behavioral health condition, let alone complex and lethal.


Evidence buried and ignored. Evidence that is the enemy, anathema to the powerful, vested interests with social capital to create their “evidence” and news about “evidence” as needed.

You won’t see any of that on the nightly news. It returns no value for those creating the news you need to see.

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)

In Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice, heterodoxy is dissent, challenge to what “goes without saying” – the accepted, constructed doxa, “knowledge”, reality, that goes without saying precisely because it “comes without saying”, without real scrutiny, untested, unquestioned. The function of doxa is not knowledge or truth or promotion of the collective good, but to protect and serve the interests of those with the power, the cultural capital, to create it.

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.

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