The opioid crisis began during the 1990s and during this time pharmaceutical companies took the opportunity to push the doctors to prescribe their drugs. The doctors lacking the resources and time to find the solution of the multiplex pain problems of their patients thought that prescribing pills was an easier fix. According to, pain specialist Sean Mackey; opioids should not be a first-line treatment due to the dangerous risks. Over time, the misuse of prescription painkillers led to the misuse of more potent drugs, like heroin and fentanyl. Opioid use has grown since the 1960s and that is why society needs to come together to work on ways to fix the problem. A few of the major problems causing the opioid epidemic to keep rising are the greedy pharmaceutical companies, the lack of federal funding to investigate an alternative course of action in substitution of painkillers and the inadequate punishments on the ones that are caught distributing illicit painkillers.
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 48,000 fatal overdoses occurred in 2017 from addictive drugs, due to fraudulent methods influenced by pharmaceutical companies. Purdue Pharma has helped ignite the opioid epidemic, with OxyContin, the “rich man’s heroin” all while cashing in on a multimillion product. Pharmaceutical companies will take any measures to ensure they have adequate advertising on their side, for example, large pharmaceuticals withdrew the 1.5 million in advertising after Annals editors basked in the glory of the FDA accusing the pharmaceutical companies of advertising violations causing the editors to resign. (Washington) Robert Fletcher stated, “The pharmaceutical industry showed us that the advertising dollar could be a two-edged sword, a carrot or a stick. If you ever wondered whether they play hardball, that was a pretty good demonstration that they do”. Dr. Richard Sackler, co-founder of Purdue Pharmaceuticals diverted the blame of their wrongdoing for falsifying how strong and addictive OxyContin was to doctors on the “reckless criminals for being the problem”. According to, Andrew Joseph at Stat News “The Sackler family, and company executives misled prescribers and patients as they aimed to blanket the country with prescriptions for their addictive medications.”
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