Over thirty years ago two doctors wrote a paper arguing that opioids were a safe treatment for pain. A movement in the medical field soon began laying fertile ground for what became known as the 5th Vital Sign. Pain, even after a major surgery or an injury, was expected to be treated to the point where the patients were kept comfortable. In steps Purdue Pharma with OxyContin and an even more dangerous marketing campaign. Physicians are lied to about the dangers; political support is bought; and soon the United States is caught in an opioid epidemic where over 64,000 lives are lost, and millions more are forever altered.
Chris McGreal is a reporter for the Guardian and former journalist for the BBC. His exhaustive account of the corruption that has wreaked havoc on our nation is essential reading for all concerned citizens.