Calling OxyContin Out Yet Again

If there was ever a corporate sponsored scourge as great as American Tobacco’s unleashing of tobacco products upon this country over a century ago (from Durham NC) where I trained, or the famous beer monopolies in every town in America in the late 1800’s as documented in Daniel Okrent’s landmark book, The Last Call,  on the history of alcohol, the temperance movement, Prohibition and the rise of the Mafia, as well of all things, the Suffragette Movement for Women to Vote, it has been the last 20 years of marketing of OxyContin.

This date I read a superb

article published in the Pacific Standard, by a brave author, a man in recovery, Mr. Daniel McGraw, on the history of the “Rise and Dominance of OxyContin,” [my phrase] and I cannot let it pass without commenting upon it and referring the reader to it. It is entitled “How Big Pharma Gave America Its Heroin Problem.” It is more than well worth reading. It is jarring and appalling in its history and backed up by multiple references to such unimpeachable sources as the National Institute of Drug Abuse among others. It also diligently references one of the seminal recent public health articles of the rise of opiate abuse in this country, “The Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis: A Public Health Approach to an Epidemic of Addiction,” published in the Annual Review of Public Health 2015. 36:559–74 [sorry I could not get this reference to make a link as this is a pre-publication edition, but search using the title and you will find it easily enough].

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