One company, the Sackler family’s Purdue Pharma, has played a critical role in instigating an epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States that killed 72,000 Americans last year — more people than perished at the peak of the HIV epidemic or died in car wrecks or shootings last year.
Even now — as the failure to recognize opioid addiction as a chronic disease rather than a moral failing, and limits on insurance coverage keep people from long-term treatment — the painkiller industry is spending nine times more on lobbying to fight regulation than is spent by the powerful gun lobby. READ
An iconic image from the mid-1980s came from a group of New York City artists, who had “gathered over several months to provide support for one another in the face of AIDS,” as the Village Voice noted, and decided to make a poster “to address the epidemic then decimating their world.” It featured a pink triangle — a symbol of gay pride reclaimed from the Nazis — and a simple, powerful message: “Silence = Death.” READ
On Saturday night in Hampton Bays, as a cold rain fell on a large crowd of the broken-hearted, speaker after speaker told deeply personal stories about how the opioid epidemic that is sweeping America has changed their lives forever.
At a candlelight vigil sponsored by the Southampton Town Opioid Task Force, parents described phone calls informing them that a son or daughter had overdosed and died. Wives told of husbands dying, and grandparents spoke about attending funerals for their grandchildren. READ