Meet the new big bad guy in town: The prescription drug industry. Let’s just call them “Big Pharma”. They are stepping into the shoes of the previous big bad guy: Big Tobacco. In fact, Big Pharma has used the Big Tobacco playbook to rake in billions of dollars in profits off the backs of addicted “customers” they hooked on their products through cunning advertising and lobbying schemes.
The product in question? Opioids. Opioids are the new Tobacco, only worse. Opioids include prescription painkillers like oxycodone, synthetics like fentanyl, and opium derivatives like heroin. Using Big Tobacco’s old tricks, plus some new ones of their own, opioid manufacturers have created a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction.
But let’s go back a bit. Once upon a time doctors were reluctant to treat chronic pain with opioids. Opioid prescriptions were for last-stage cancer pain management and short-term pain control, for example, for patients suffering temporary post-operative pain. Prescribing such addictive medicine for chronic, long-term pain was just not done. The risk of creating addicts was simply unacceptable.