By Paul A. Philips

Many people would naturally associate drug addiction with illegal street drugs. However, there’s a different type of drug addiction. Growing exponentially and out of control Big Pharma has created an opioid painkiller addiction epidemic that’s causing more suffering and death than illegal street drugs.

In the USA the opioid painkiller prescription rate has increased by 300% over the last 10 years.  In Alabama State, for every 100 people, doctors hand out a staggering 123 opioid painkiller prescriptions. This is the highest rate in the USA. Americans are the highest opioid users making up 80% of the world’s total use.

Considering the potential for having serious side effects and their addictive nature this makes opioid painkillers the most dangerous drugs known. Around 70% of accidental deaths caused by prescription drugs have been attributed to painkillers:  Over the last 10 years, female overdose deaths through opioids have increased by 450%.

Big Pharma’s misleading and false claims

Many people have blamed the manufacturers of these dangerous opioid drugs for the addiction epidemic. They assert that Big Pharma should be held accountable for having created the addiction epidemic by:

-Misleading doctors and patients through underplaying the addictive nature of opioids

For example, the opioid painkiller drug OxyContin made by Purdue Pharmaceuticals is more addictive than heroin. It is in fact a very similar molecule to heroin.

After a number of hours when OxyContin no longer takes effect, consistent withaddiction, withdrawal symptoms start to kick in (aching, queasiness and anxieties). Then there are the returning symptomatic illness pains…

– Making false claims: Promoting opioid drugs as safe in the long-term

No findings exist to support this.

Purdue also claimed that OxyContin could be used to treat certain ailments where this drug would not normally be prescribed, such as for the treatment of back pain.

-More false claims over the drugs.

OxyContin has made huge sales through misleading claims: Purdue claimed that it gave twice as many hours of pain relief compared to other drugs when this was not the case. Nor, as claimed, did it give continual pain relief.

Deceptive marketing

With accusations of deceptive marketing related to the above, attempting to hold the pharmaceutical companies responsible for the growing mass opioid addiction, a number of states have filed lawsuits.

For example, a legal team in the state of New Hampshire have an ongoing lawsuit against Purdue over OxyContin. However, as with other opioid drug manufacturers, armed with an overwhelming number of crack lawyers, the pharmaceutical giant has not been sued.

OxyContin the 30 billion dollar earner

Oxycontin has made Purdue some 30 plus billion dollars over the last 10 years. Several of the company’s execs had been criminally charged and admitted deceiving regulators by misrepresenting the drug’s efficacy while covering up the addiction and risks. Although the company had paid out a 34.5 million dollar fine profits still flourished.

Scathing exposé: Drug manufacturer knew about OxyContin and its use as an illegal street drug but turned a blind eye

OxyContin has also been used as an illegal street drug. According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times it was revealed in spite of the fact that Purdue execs had full knowledge of OxyContin being pushed through criminal pill mills and drug rings they did nothing about it. They did nothing to report these crimes while having full knowledge of certain pharmacies and other specific connections supplying the drug dealers.

Big Government and Big Pharma collusion

To make matters frustratingly worse, all Big Government has done in effect is to feed the Big Pharma corporate greed machine while the misery, suffering and death continues to rise: Big Government has responded to the rising addiction rates by introducing the Senate-approved Addiction and Recovery Act to deal with addiction. A step in the right direction but this doesn’t get to the root-cause of the problem.

It does nothing to hold the drug manufacturers responsible or punishable for promoting addiction through falsely marketing their drugs. Nor has it introduced tighter more vigilant controls on supplying and distribution to reduce the street drug crime. Further, it involves the introduction of anti-addiction drugs which means more money for the pharmaceutical companies who caused the addiction problem to begin with!


In light of the above, holding the pharmaceutical companies more legally, financially and ethically accountable, demanding truthful marketing and introducing tighter controls on drug suppliers to reduce the related street crime would indeed serve as effective solutions to the rising addiction.

Medical marijuana can be used to lower drug dependency, abuse and relieve pain. However, the fact that medical marijuana has many health benefits but in a number of places is a controlled substance (Schedule 1), putting it in the same illegal drug bracket as heroin, Ecstasy or LSD, beggars belief to some. But not those who understand the hidden ulterior motive:

-The fact that medical marijuana reduces the need for drug prescriptions is the reason why the pharmaceutical establishment don’t want the wide ban lifted: It is perceived as a threat to undercutting their business. Then there would also be less revenue money for Big Government…

Although becoming decriminalized in some states, such as the recentdecriminalization of possession in Illinois, if the ban on marijuana was lifted universally then it could reach out to the nation as a great healer. It can be used synergistically with other treatment.

Contacts for fighting Painkiller addiction

If you are addicted or know of someone then there are a number of useful contacts to help deal with the problem

There are useful US contacts like the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration, on 1-800-622-HELP available 24/7… I’m sure there are similar setups in other countries.

It is hoped that this article has encouraged inquiry to not only fight painkiller addiction but also avoid it.

You can read more from Paul A. Philips at his site


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  1. I absolutely love how your title ironically showcases EXACTLY what you are doing. YOU are fabricating a crisis by twisting the statistics and probably obsessing over the idea for one reason or another. Your article stands true in the eyes of barely ten percent of the PATIENT population, and 1 percent of the overall. The fact is that the reality we live in has a population where 95+% of the population has had ZERO problems with the prescribing paternes of a decade agao. It has been in the last ten years that this debacle has unfolded and it is basically for the exact OPPOSITE reasons you are stating…find something else to write about, that maybe something you actually know something about (and won’t be harming large numbers of the patient population by doing so).

  2. I want to know if there is a civil suit against these assholes for having intention to addict and kill the masses with this intentional harm….ASSHOLES!!

  3. Richard L. Ph.D.

    Is this your point? Big Pharma is clearing the way for more EXPENSIVE drugs that are less obviously ADDICTIVE, but at least as DANGEROUS to patients. by promoting the MYTH of an “epidemic” of deaths due to prescription opioids? And you claim Paul P. doesn’t know what he is talking about? Thank you for the chilling perspective you share. Now we can each decide if we are in good hands with Big Pharma!

    • A lot of people are deciding these days that they are NOT in good hands with the large pharmaceutical companies. An excellent recent book in a related subject is available on Amazon: “Psychiatry Under the Influence — Institutional Corruption, Social Harms, and Prescriptions for Change.” In this case, I am becoming convinced that Big Pharma has indeed gotten on a bandwagon of public hysteria directed at prescription opioids, in order to clear the way for higher priced “alternatives” that may be at least as dangerous.

  4. The care of people with “pain”, both chronic and acute, is an industry in itself. I am not just exposed to theories and supposed studies. I see it first hand in my decades of work in the healthcare industry. My being married to a pharmacist does not make me look at the addiction to painkillers as a lovely state of being, that no other means of cure can be availed of. Twisting/spinning of numbers is more the province of the likes of “Big Pharma, “The Medical Industry”, the CDC, USDA, the CIA (who runs the drug industry. Read Gary Webb’s book, “The Dark Alliance”. Read “Into the Buzzsaw” edited by Kristina Borjesson), etc. That I read an average five hours everyday does not make me infallible like the pope, but I certainly am not ignorant of a lot of facts. I am very appreciative of alternative websites which truly strive to wake up people to the dismal state of our lives and that something can be done about it if we refuse complacency. My deepest appreciation to the people who run this website. My love to all of you.

  5. Paul A. Phillips literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The risk of addiction in properly screened and monitored chronic pain patients is quite low (on the order of less than 10%). The so-called “epidemic” of deaths due to prescription opioids is a mythology promoted by Big Pharma to clear the way for a new generation of patented (and therefore expensive) re-purposed anti-psychotic drugs that are less obviously addictive, but at least as dangerous to patients.

  6. It is amazing how they can TWIST/SPIN numbers to help a author make his/her point .. using “best practices” and “stand of care”.. a chronic pain pt would need both a long acting and a short acting opiate to properly treat their pain. Which would suggest that those 123 prescription per 100 population that only 5 chronic pain pts per 100 population would be receiving proper therapy.. Since it is estimated that abt 30% of the population suffers from chronic pain…It would appear that the people in AL are being grossly under treated chronic pain. No sure if that is something that , as a state, I would want to brag about. How many other people in the state suffering from other chronic health issues are also being denied appropriate healthcare ? IMO.. sounds like there is more a epidemic of denial of care and the so called opiate epidemic is more a FABRICATION


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