Essay The Current Epidemic Of Painkiller Addiction

724 Words Nov 28th, 2016 3 Pages
The current epidemic of painkiller addiction has over 2 million people in the United States caught like a fly in its web (Whoriskey). In the past 15 years, the sale of prescription opioids has more than quadrupled. Aggressive marketing, studies on narcotics, and the inability to say no on the doctor’s part have all led to the jump in sales (Gounder). Many of these causes are at the fault of pharmaceutical companies. They create narcotics for the sheer profit rather than to help those in need and do whatever is necessary to sell their product. The aggressive marketing of narcotics misleads patients and doctors on the effects of the drugs that they are dealing with. Doctors once used extreme caution when prescribing opioids, but after drug manufacturers reached them through marketing they pushed their worries aside (Whoriskey). Pharmaceutical companies used their marketing skills to reassure doctors and patients alike that their products came with little to no risk of addiction.
Russell Portenoy, former chair of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and speaker for Purdue Pharma, claimed that the evidence needed to back the claims of narcotic manufacturers was often left behind due to their goal of making “the primary rare audience… feel more comfortable about opioids” (qtd. in Whoriskey). Doctors and patients were purposefully given empty claims about the narcotics they prescribe or take so that companies like Purdue…

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