If you ever think to yourself

“the landscape for substance abuse and drug and alcohol treatment couldn’t get any more difficult to navigate”,

I would suggest you wait a day or two and read the paper or watch the news. CNN reported on a story titled “Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become ‘end-to-end pain provider,’ lawsuit alleges”.

The suit that was brought against the company says the company and its owners, the Sackler family, whose name adorns some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country, engaged in over decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true. The documents show an actual sales funnel. Starting with the wide top to capture pain patients, turning them into addicts, and funneling them down selling them the drugs to treat the addicted group. Drugs like Narcan, which is meant to reverse an Opioid-related overdose and even sell their version of the popular Opioid treatment, Buprenorphine.

It’s sad to say that nothing shocks me anymore, but things still do sting.

This article stung on a whole new level. We’re all aware now about the fact that Purdue Pharmaceuticals knew exactly how addictive their pain killer drugs were. Now the details of the new suit in the article suggest that it was purposely pushed in order to capitalize financially on them abusing the medications until an addiction was formed. Then Purdue would also be providing the drugs to help treat the addiction they helped create. It was a deliberate marketing campaign to target a vulnerable population and purposely put their welfare and well being out of the equation.

I find the saddest part of this new suit is the number of lives lost to those who struggled with drug addiction as a result of the actions this huge institution has taken.

Not to mention the amount of immense suffering that people have experienced from the addiction to their products. A life of active drug addiction is one that is full of extreme pain. Not only do the people directly afflicted with addiction suffer but all people around them do as well. The parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters have all been swept up in the unbelievable wake of suffering. How could a massive company be allowed to do this? We try and convict people for far less. Maybe a better question is why, why would a company do this? Well, the obvious and short answer is money. Purdue paid the 4 billion dollars to the Sackler family in profits.

We hope that after the dust settles that the individuals, families, and communities that have been gravely damaged by the actions are finally held accountable for their unjustifiable actions. Money is never a good excuse to put peoples lives in jeopardy.