“OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty in criminal case” was the headline November 24, 2020. They finally nailed them. Read the APNews story. Their reckless manner has caused the death of nearly half a million people and the survivors of those people found only “minor comfort” in the guilty plea. Of course! Kill a person even accidentally in ancient Israel and the closest kin had every right to track you down and kill you unless you hightailed it first to a city of refuge. How much more so when the scoundrels deliberately blinded themselves to the mayhem they were causing for the sake of turning a (huge) buck.
Now—it is unseemly at such a time to boast. You just don’t do it. Nevertheless, I will boast and hopefully not be thought too crass.
I called this out first. Maybe not absolutely first but I was among the first to assemble all the pieces. This is because I had begun to write Tom Irregardless and Me about life as a Jehovah’s Witness—it was in its infancy stage, when Prince died of a fentanyl overdose and since he was the best-known Jehovah’s Witness on the planet, I made his spiritual life the entire first chapter. As far as I know, the chapter is the most complete collection anywhere of vignettes about him as reported in the various media.
Prince’s high-profile death put the fentanyl trap on the map and revealed how easy it was for persons who would never do recreational drugs to become addicted to these painkillers they came across through “honorable” means—they were prescribed by doctors who gave no warning and usually did not know themselves how their products would take over a person.
After dealing with one doctor who claimed Prince died of “VIP syndrome” (doctors are so awed by celebrity that they fail to do their job), I quoted a newly-posted letter from Dr. Chris Johnson, and the next three paragraphs are from Tom Irregardless and Me, published in 2016.
Dr Johnson wrote how of how he was “forced to paint an unflattering picture of the industry that I have been a part of for the last 15 years. I wish I could tell you that this epidemic was due to an honest mistake. That the science was unclear or had mixed results that only later became evident. But I can’t. I also wish I could tell you that the only reason the problem persists is a ‘lack of physician awareness.’ But I won’t. The reason this opioid problem started and the reason it continues is sadly for the most American reason there is - business.”