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What’s the answer to the opioid crisis?

From 1999 to 2016 it is estimated 453,300 Americans have died from opioid abuse, and in 2017 alone 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, most involving some kind of opioid. By 2019 approximately 10.1 million Americans misused opioids, 745,000 misusing heroin and a staggering 9.7 million misusing some form of prescription pain relief drug. This rampant misuse of prescription pain medication in America has been called the opioid epidemic/crisis as it is so clearly affecting the lives and health of so many Americans. With the possibility of a further cascade of possible lingering symptoms of so-called “long COVID” and massive amounts of trauma brought on by the COVID pandemic, could be see worsening medication addiction rates in the years to come? What is the answer to the opioid epidemic moving forward? hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/opioid-crisis-statistics/index.html
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Sue the bastards
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Sue the bastards

America's opioid epidemic hinged on the aggressive marketing and lobbying campaigns by large pharmaceutical companies in the name of profiteering. Various companies flooded the market with opiates, lobbied doctors to overprescribe, and even resorted to false advertising to mislead customers and boost drug use, and therefore sales. Lawsuits have become increasingly normal in dealing with this public health injustice, this started in 2007 when Purdue were found found liable to pay a $634 million fine for lying about OxyContin. Likewise in 2019 Johnson and Johnson were ordered by the state of Oklahoma to pay $572 million for aggressively marketing painkillers and fuelling the states drug addiction crisis. More recently even advertising companies have been found complicit, with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company being made to also pay around $600 million in 2021 for its role in advising businesses by sending sales reps to encourage high proscribing doctors to move patients to more potent doses of OxyContin.

acsh.org/news/2018/08/22/brief-history-opioid-epidemic-13346 apnews.com/067a1974efb31cd23809513c632ceca2 cbsnews.com/news/johnson-johnson-opioid-verdict-company-found-guilty-in-oklahoma-by-district-judge-in-opioid-abuse-lawsuit

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