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Warning: This Drug May Kill You Watch the Movie on HBO

Perhaps the most painful part of Recovery Boys is seeing the lack of effective care for recovering drug users. Jacob’s Ladder is an outlier, opened by doctor Kevin Blankenship in response to the lack of rehab options in West Virginia and his own son’s opioid addiction. Whatever the truth, Marson’s documentary highlights the vacuum of effective chronic pain management in the United States — a vacuum that can leave scores of patients in agonizing pain without a treatment for a problem they can often neither see nor prove to their doctors. Coming in just shy of 90 minutes, Dr. Feelgood is a rich portrayal of William Eliot Hurwitz. Depending on whom you ask, Hurwitz is either a caring and innovative physician who, over the course of his decades-long career, helped the chronic pain of hundreds of patients countrywide. Or he’s one of the most prolific drug distributors in America’s history.

And he was approached by a Purdue salesperson, who said, “Hey, we can give you some free samples. I know you’ve got back pain.” And he said, “Sure.” And so, they gave him free samples. “I realized how blind I had been to the addiction problem,” Schneider says in the series, adding that addiction was not covered in class when he attended pharmacy school. Adapted by Danny Strong (co-creator of Fox’s hit drama Empire) from a nonfiction book by Beth Macy, Dopesick leapfrogs across storylines and time periods in a way that can be a little confusing, despite onscreen graphics showing what year scenes are set in.

opiod documentaries

Alex Gibney’s new documentary on HBO is called The Crime of the Century. It details the role of the medical system in creating the opioid crisis. ‘Stigmatic’ can mean relating to the top of the flower that dispenses pollen, relating to a alcohol allergy with hives stigma or an individual with sores who has borne great suffering. This hour-long documentary explores the chemistry of opioid drugs and their prevalence in Bay Bounty, Michigan, through the multifaceted lens of the word and the crisis.

Warning: This Drug May Kill You

These facts present the symptoms of an epidemic that has been chronicled in the news with much discussion about the problem but very little regarding a solution. We do not accept funding from advertising, underwriting or government agencies. We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. But I think the larger thing here goes to a failure of accountability. You know, Purdue was investigated by the federal government back in 2006, and indeed found guilty. But that investigation, which was a very robust investigation, really laid out the roadmap for how Purdue did what it did.

Creating opportunities to help effect change in what for many has been a hopeless cycle for generations. I mean, it’s just a — you know, you see in Alec Burlakoff exactly the argument for Medicare for All, because you have these terrible incentives, where the incentive is not to cure the patient. And I can’t recall there was anything in the Hippocratic Oath that had anything to do with supply and demand, but by the time you get to Insys, you how long does alcohol stay in your system know, riffing on the Purdue formula, it’s all about the money. Dan’s investigation into a corrupt doctor reveals some of big pharma’s worst sins. Dopesick also offers an authentic portrayal of the small, working class, predominantly white communities ravaged by the opioid crisis. Lots of TV shows and films have been set in such towns recently, including Netflix’s Maid and Hillbilly Elegy, HBO’s Mare of Easttown and Showtime’s American Rust.

Spiked opioid addiction rates quickly followed.A significant rise in heroin overdose deaths marked the second wave in 2010. A third wave followed in 2013 with the sharp jump in overdose deaths connected to synthetic opioids, especially fentanyl, according to the CDC. From 1999 to 2019, close to 500,000 people died due to opioid overdoses. This portrayal of physician and pain management specialist Dr. William Hurwitz tells both sides of the story. Hurwitz presents himself as a caring and trusting doctor who helped his patients by dispensing pain-management drugs—and who was duped by those who sold the medications he prescribed on the black market.

And so they were shocked and surprised when the Department of Justice itself, after pressure from representatives of Purdue, notably, former U.S. DOJ officials like Mary Jo White and Rudy Giuliani, decided not to prosecute the executives and to work out a deal that essentially held Purdue criminally responsible. But most importantly, the key evidence in the prosecution memo was never revealed. We contend in the film that hundreds of thousands of lives were lost as a result of that burying of evidence. This deal doesn’t “raise the same red flags, but it doesn’t mean that it gets waved through,” said Leemore Dafny, former deputy director of healthcare and antitrust at the FTC.

The story of a drug company that pushed opioids by bribing doctors and committing insurance fraud. With the Financial Times, FRONTLINE investigates how Insys Therapeutics profited from a fentanyl-based painkiller 50 times stronger than heroin. You know, as Andrew Kolodny says in the trailer, they were like heroin pills.

opiod documentaries

Schneider, who had previously lived a happy life as a middle class father of two children, decided to do the detective work that, in his view, the police did not carry out. For weeks, he knocked on the doors of people who lived in the vicinity of where Danny Jr. was killed, despite the risk of violence. The police, who were still looking into the case, first said they had found an eyewitness named Jeffery Hall, leading to some hope for Schneider that the murder would be resolved. But Hall’s account was determined to be unreliable; the person he identified as the murderer had been in jail the night Danny Jr. died. Goldin’s work has been shown in many institutions that benefitted from Sackler support, a poignant tension explored throughout the film. Still, Dopesick distills a complicated story into a compelling, heartbreaking series — tallying the human cost of a crisis that started in company boardrooms, earned billions and turned the country upside down in the process.

Have used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons at least once. Are you looking to raise funds in the US for your documentary project? Learn more about how you can apply to IDA’s fiscal sponsorship program. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is impressed with Sheriff Gentry’s Program and will be a guest speaker at the November graduation this year. Of the 75 counties in Arkansas, 13 of those have sheriffs interested in implementing Gentry’s program. The daily complexities and challenges facing Sheriff Gentry wear on him, but he knows he only has five more years as Sheriff to establish his program and share the success with other counties and states.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, MD

It’s not just a crisis destroying communities and plunging countless people into addiction, but is also a crime, says documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. To shed light on this manufactured drug epidemic, Zinnia Health compiled a list of 10 documentary films and docuseries that explore the opioid epidemic. We turn now to a stunning two-part documentary, directed by Alex Gibney, about Big Pharma’s role in driving the opioid crisis. Central to the series is Dan Schneider, a pharmacist living in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana, a community located southeast of New Orleans, who becomes an unlikely hero. The beginning of the series focuses on the devastating death of Schneider’s son, Danny Jr., who was fatally shot at the age of 22 while trying to buy crack in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward in April 1999.

opiod documentaries

“Opioid Nation” is a journalistic investigation of the next chapter in this epidemic. With no help coming from federal or state government, it’s up to local governance to save their communities. Sheriff Gentry is taking the lead in forging a long term plan to heal his community. He works with local businesses to ensure jobs and implement reintegration for inmates. It’s a holistic approach to rebuilding what’s been broken for a long time.


And now physicians are terrified to prescribe opioids due to what Hurwitz characterizes as a haphazard and desperate response to a much more complicated problem. Far the addiction crisis has spilled onto the fabric of American society.

  • And one character in our film goes through that process, a guy named Caleb Lanier from Texas.
  • Meanwhile, closing arguments will be held next week in a closely watched federal trial in West Virginia against the nation’s three largest drug distributors.
  • Perhaps the most painful part of Recovery Boys is seeing the lack of effective care for recovering drug users.
  • Jacob’s Ladder is an outlier, opened by doctor Kevin Blankenship in response to the lack of rehab options in West Virginia and his own son’s opioid addiction.

2018 Opioid Task Force progress report found that American doctors are prescribing fewer opioids, as well as increasing prescription drug monitoring program use. But it’s unclear whether lower rates of prescribing translate to fewer drug deaths on the streets. And they came up with a term called — or they became famous for really pushing a term called “pseudoaddiction,” which is to say that you can’t really be addicted to OxyContin, no matter how high up the scale you go in terms of the volume. That’s pseudoaddiction, because it really is just — you know, it’s the pain you’re suffering from, not the need for the drug. In naming Hall and taking the stand in the murder case, Redding risked her life and had to be placed in witness protection.

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Opioid epidemic is the deadliest public health crisis America has ever faced. Opioids are now responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. So I think you have to see the 90,000 dead in the past year as a kind of legacy of this enormous demand that was created initially by the pharmaceutical firms. And, of course, you have companies like Insys, who are also overprescribing a drug like fentanyl, you know, as a technical matter. Now, Insys is one of the very few companies that was successfully prosecuted and a number of their executives sent to jail.

These days, the far-reaching devastation of the epidemic is well-known. The Pharmacist presents an early look at what would become a national health crisis, as the use of OxyContin rose in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dr. Lynn Webster, whom Gibney talks about in the interview, responds to NPR that he or his colleagues have treated thousands of patients over more than 30 years. “Tragically, some patients died not because of treatment, but in spite of it.” Webster says millions suffer from chronic pain, which is its own crisis. “For a subset of the chronic pain population, opioids can be effective without incidence of abuse or overdose. Moreover, opioids represent their only hope where no other options exist.”

‘The Pharmacist’

Every year, we lose more people to opioid addiction deaths than were killed in the entire Vietnam War. As his character explains, OxyContin has a protective coating that time-releases the drug, allowing the company to claim that less than 1% of patients would become addicted to the opioid. Robert Gentry, a small-town sheriff in Sevier County, Arkansas, has witnessed too many families in his community shattered by opioid addiction, overdoses and death.

Audiences are also presented with evidence to the contrary, a five-year prison sentence for the good doctor and two trials for distribution of narcotics. Feelgood” and seems at ease giving viewers access to the whole story and the many sides of Hurwitz. The rest of the series shows how Schneider, a pharmacist since 1975 who was now armed with his recording equipment and a newfound sense of justice, quickly picked up that a growing number of his customers were coming in with prescriptions for OxyContin. The powerful, addictive painkiller, which Purdue Pharma made and promoted the use of, is believed to be linked with the opioid addiction epidemic that has ravaged American lives in recent decades. Nearly 50,000 people died from the opioid crisis in 2017 alone, and the nation’s overall life expectancy has declined due to the crisis. After facing several lawsuits in multiple states for allegedly contributing to the opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in September 2019.

The role of physicians in perpetuating the opioid crisis is inarguable — FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has lambasted them as “cavalier” — but Hurwitz refuses to be a scapegoat. What law enforcement termed a “pill mill,” he calls simply having 500 patients in 39 states. Accused of knowing his patients were selling the overflow from his monumental prescriptions to addicts, Hurwitz says he’s just too trusting.

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