The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that during the year 2017, a staggering 68 percent of the total 70,237 drug-related overdose deaths that were reported throughout the US directly involved an opioid narcotic. Over the past several years, the increasing rates of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose have been driven predominantly by heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin. Another report, published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, reported that over 18 million American adults admitted to abusing a prescription painkiller at least once during the year 2017 alone. Of these 18 million adults, nearly 2 million were first-time prescription opioid narcotic users. Prescription opioid abuse has been on the rise, and that is attributed to several different factors. First, there is the ease of accessibility – most individuals who begin abusing medications like OxyContin originally obtained them from a friend, family member, or acquaintance. Additionally, the aggressive marketing campaigns that many major pharmaceutical companies engage in are attributed to the high rates of abuse and addiction. Fortunately, many of these pharmaceutical companies are not being held accountable for their actions.
Purdue Pharma Settlement for Fueling the Opioid Crisis
The Justice Department publicly announced a major settlement against Purdue Pharma, one of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers who makes the popular drug called Oxycontin. The settlement revolves around the aggressive marketing techniques employed by Purdue Pharma and suggests that the company has been largely contributing to the nationwide opioid epidemic – and therefore, the untimely deaths of thousands of American men and women. The final deal, which included three “guilty” pleas to a host of felony charges, has been publicly revealed. The settlement is currently valued at slightly over $8.3 million, and the US government hopes that the entire situation will serve as a warning to other malpractice opioid manufacturers. However, the controversy lies in the fact that the Sackler family – the family that owns Purdue Pharma – is not going to serve any time behind bars. They will simply be asked to restructure their company, which will operate as a public trust under the control of the US government.
Ongoing Issues With Opioid Addiction Because of Oxycontin
This is not the first time that Purdue Pharma has been under scrutiny. New York Attorney General Letitia James – who partook in the current settlement – directly sued the Sackler family in 2019 after accusing them of pocketing billions of dollars in company profit over the past 20 years. In a written statement to the Justice Department, she claimed:
While our country continues to recover from the pain and destruction left by the Sacklers’ greed, this family has attempted to evade responsibility and lowball the millions of victims of the opioid crisis. Today’s deal doesn’t account for the hundreds of thousands of deaths or millions of addictions caused by Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. The settlement allows billionaires to keep their billions without any accounting for how much they made. From the beginning, we’ve aimed to unearth how much the Sacklers actually profited and how much they continue to hideaway. While no amount of money can ever compensate for the pain that so many now know, we will continue to litigate our case through the courts to secure every cent we can to limit future opioid addictions.
Opioid Addiction Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Miramar
Evoke Wellness at Miramar has extensive experience treating men and women of all ages who have fallen victim to the nationwide prescription opioid epidemic. We understand that even when these medications are taken exactly as prescribed, they can lead to devastating physical and psychological dependencies. There is truly no “safe” way to take medications like OxyContin. If you have been abusing OxyContin or any other prescription opioid for any length of time, there is help available. Simply give us a call today and we will help you get started on your journey of prescription painkiller addiction recovery today.