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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday March 16 2017, @06:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the they-are-supposed-to-be-"controlled"-substances dept.

An American city is suing the maker of OxyContin for its alleged role in fueling the national opioid epidemic:

After spending millions to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging its citizens, the working-class city of Everett, Washington, is taking the maker of opioid painkiller OxyContin to federal court. The city claims that the drug maker, Purdue Pharma, knowingly sold to black markets out of pure greed, enabling the devastating epidemic hitting Everett and the rest of the country.

According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed in federal court in Seattle, Everett accuses Purdue Pharma of "knowingly, recklessly, and/or negligently supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market, including to drug rings, pill mills, and other dealers for dispersal of the highly addictive pills in Everett." Purdue's goal, Everett alleges, was to "generate enormous profits" at the expense of the people of Everett. [...] "Our community has been significantly damaged, and we need to be made whole," Everett's mayor, Ray Stephanson, told ABC News.

[...] In a statement, Purdue disputed Everett's claims, saying that it did notify the DEA and acted responsibly. "We look forward to presenting the facts in court," the company said. Purdue also said that its opioids now account for less than two percent of US opioid prescriptions.

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  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday March 16 2017, @08:33PM (4 children)

    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 16 2017, @08:33PM (#480012)

    >And I say that as somebody who has never used a recreational drug stronger than alcohol, and only been really drunk once in my life.

    And you could continue to say that even if you were a regular user of marijuana. Alcohol is actually one of the strongest and most dangerous and addictive of the commonly used recreational drugs out there. Only opioids really give it a run for it's money. And tobacco I suppose, but while it's extremely addictive and dangerous, it's hard to call it "strong", even extremely potent tobacco has only relatively minor psychoactive properties.

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  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday March 16 2017, @10:27PM (3 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Thursday March 16 2017, @10:27PM (#480073) Journal

    Alcohol is actually one of the strongest and most dangerous and addictive of the commonly used recreational drugs out there

    I believe that is not the same for everyone (and I think it's in the genes). I can't imagine ever getting addicted to alcohol. I'm the only one in my family who ever drinks alcohol, and because drinking alone is no fun, it happens maybe 5 times a year and then only moderately. I used to smoke for 25 years and that really was an addiction, which took some mental strength to get rid of. I haven't had a smoke in 20 years and now I think it's disgusting and can't stand the smell anymore. It's like I became allergic to it.

    I do know people who are addicted to alcohol, whom I sometimes try to convince to be strong and never drink when alone, but they tend to forget my advice after a while. Addiction to alcohol is not the same for everyone.

    I've never tried opioids but they must be extremely addictive, seeing what they do to others. I believe that everyone who tries them will get addicted after a short while, so they're different from alcohol in that regard.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Immerman on Thursday March 16 2017, @11:15PM (2 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 16 2017, @11:15PM (#480095)

      The thing is, addiction is not actually physical at it's root. Yeah, the withdrawal associated with physical addiction makes it that much harder to quit, but that's not what keeps you coming back. What keeps you coming back is that you've found a way to fill a hole in your life with a drug (or gambling, or shopping, or...). As long as that hole is there, you're going to keep trying to fill it, and your chosen drug is the quick-and-easy-and-familiar fix to a problem that's probably quite difficult to really solve. And after a while the quick fix becomes a habit - and anyone that's ever shed a bad habit can tell you just how difficult that can be, even when the habit doesn't actually offer any benefits.

      Opioids for example are powerfully physically addictive, but are also widely used for pain management. If addiction was about chemical dependency then every person who went in for major surgery would come out a junky. There was actually serious concern about that during... WWI/II I believe, when heroin was widely administered to injured soldiers. The reality though is that pretty much every patient and soldier walks away from them without problems, because they're using them to fight pain rather than fill a hole, and when the pain fades to endurable levels the drugs no longer have anything substantial to offer. It's the transient pleasure of the high against the enduring satisfaction of a decent life. The high may offer a fun "vacation" once in a while, but it gets in the way of the satisfaction of living your life.

      If you *don't* have a good life though - soulless job, few real friends, and/or enduring emotional trauma, then the pain never goes away. There's a constant gnawing emptiness in your life. We're social animals, evolutionarily programmed to be a useful part of a tribe. And drugs provide, at the very least, a way to numb the pain of its absence. So you keep going back to the drugs. And the more time you spend feeding your addiction, the less time you spend doing things that might actually solve the problem, and things can rapidly begin to spiral out of control.

      That's especially true in countries like the US, that have a strong cultural and legal stigma against addiction. Once you're known as an addict, social and employment opportunities, as well as connections with family and friends, begin to dry up. Which makes the hole worse. Which provides greater incentive to fill it with your drug, which drives others further away from you. The whole social framework becomes part of the spiral of addiction.

      • (Score: 1) by Roger Murdock on Friday March 17 2017, @03:50AM (1 child)

        by Roger Murdock (4897) on Friday March 17 2017, @03:50AM (#480189)

        What keeps you coming back is that you've found a way to fill a hole in your life with a drug (or gambling, or shopping, or...). As long as that hole is there, you're going to keep trying to fill it"

        If only there were some Jesus-like figure whom I could let into my heart to fill that hole!

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Friday March 17 2017, @04:39AM

          by Immerman (3985) on Friday March 17 2017, @04:39AM (#480211)

          There was, once, at least according to legend. Though it's worth noting that there's no definitive references to him in historical documents until a century after his supposed death, so it's possible he was a literary fabrication - a possibility that gains credibility in light of the many parallels between his legend and that of several much more ancient religious figures in the region. Though of course that might also be due simply to embellishing of his legend after the man himself had died.

          Sadly, even if he did truly exist, he died almost 2000 years ago, and all that's left of him on this plane of reality is his legend, most of which has been horribly warped by changing cultural contexts and corrupt religious officials seeking to use his good name to further their own agendas, as evidenced by the myriad contradictory interpretations of those legends that haven't been outright re-written or expunged.

          If Jesus still exists in some form capable of comprehension and feeling, I can only imagine that he weeps bitter tears about what his legend has become, and the countless atrocities committed in his name.

          But hey, if your connection to his legend fills a hole in your life, and saves you from more destructive addictions, then by all means continue. He would probably approve, provided you don't let that comfort dissuade you from actually fixing the hole. After all, one of the few things his many legends agree on is that he was big on healing and connecting with your fellow man.

          Just try not to be a sanctimonious, self-righteous prick about it. The man who offered his comfort and wisdom to lepers and whores would not approve.