Big Pharma and Addiction

Big Pharma and Addiction

Big Pharma is in the Addiction business.

Not the healing business.

We watched the last episode of ‘Goliath’ on Prime Video last evening.  With Billy Bob Thornton in the lead and J. K. Simmons playing the sociopathic owner of the pharmaceutical company.

This last season of the show outlines how the head of the pharmaceutical company aggressively marketed extremely addictive opioids.For money.

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Simmon’s character George Zax, is a sociopath who has an answer for everything.  The character he plays very likely believes his own lies.  (Brilliant cast and acting all through.)

There is a much happier ending in the TV series than real life.

Customers for Life

Make no mistake -- pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of healing.  It has been said before, but they want customers for life. 

A case in point is Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family.  Purdue Pharma murdered and destroyed millions of lives in the USA with their ruthless marketing of OxyContin.  The Sacklers became quite famous when Purdue Pharma pled guilty in 2020 to three felony charges involving fraud, conspiracy, and kickbacks. The US Department of Justice commented that “The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and death …”  Purdue Pharma was dissolved in 2021 and the Sacklers ordered to turn over billions of dollars to address the opioid epidemic.  That will put a dent in the family fortune but still leaves these people very wealthy.

What is less known is the fact that any number of Big Pharma’s products could easily have been inserted into the story line to tell the same story.

Opioids, under their many labels (Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Percocet, Methadone, morphine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Demerol, Codeine, Opium, just to name a few), have been universally recognized for many years as being highly addictive.  Originally used for extreme pain, they have been marketed as ‘pain management’ over the last 20 years.

I have listed below just a few products of the pharmaceutical industry that are equally and often more addictive than the opioids in the television show.

Addictive Pharmaceuticals:

Alprazolam/Xanax - according to the CDC more than four times as many Americans dies in 2015 than 2002 overdoses that involved benzodiazepines.
Klonopin (Clonezepam)
Valium (Diazepam)
Adderall (Alprazolam)

Ativan (Lorazepam)
Librium (Chloridiazepoxide)
Ambien (zolpidem)

Big Pharma and their henchmen (and women), the prescribing psychiatrists and doctors, have been marketing these drugs as beneficial and necessary for life maintenance.  They have been marketing these drugs directly to consumers for years and years.  They use TV ads and magazine ads; convincing the masses of the safety of these horribly addictive products. And convinced they are.

One of the nasty issues with these drugs, besides the fact the fact that they mess with your functionality is that they are so addictive.  It can take weeks and months to taper off.

Kelly Brogan, a psychiatrist, has several videos and articles on the addictiveness of these drugs and the dangers of withdrawal.

A quote from an article called ‘The Taper’ on Mad in America website:

Part of what has scared me straight about ever starting a patient on an antidepressant (or antipsychotic or mood stabilizer) again is bearing witness to the incredible havoc that medication discontinuation can wreak. This can range from transient headache, gastrointestinal distress, and irritability to violence, suicide, physiologic disability, and diffusion of identity.”  Kelly Brogan, MD, ABIHM  Nov 22, 2013

Another couple of quotes from an interview on the website Anxiety: Natural Solutions

“Even when we did [pharmaceutical withdrawal] responsibly, I was essentially running an outpatient rehab. I mean from neurologic symptoms to psychiatric symptoms, physical symptoms, autoimmune diseases flaring, patients developing impulsive behavior and even violence. It was beyond description.”

“When I taper patients off of meds, I normally do what’s called a test dose decrease, which often is around 20% to 25% of the dose. We come down by that. Again, this is after we’ve done the initial months at least of fairly strict dietary compliance working with relaxation response, doing 20 minutes or more of movement, working on sleep. All of this has to happen first. Then we begin, and so we start with a test dose. If we see in about 2 to 4 weeks that test dose is completely well-tolerated, meaning you don’t even notice the difference, then we probably can work in bigger increments. That’s actually a godsend. These tapers, when we’re working in 10% and less doses, could take literally years.”

- Medication Tapering and Withdrawal: an interview with Dr Kelly Brogan - Trudy Scott

It can take weeks, months and years for a doctor to help wean someone from these drugs.  The dangers of doing this incorrectly can be disastrous.

There are, though, two major problems preventing people withdrawing from these drugs at all. One, doctors and psychiatrists are not taught anything about health and how exactly to get people off these drugs. And two, the real problem is that those that are making billions of dollars from these highly profitable drugs just don’t want that to happen.

Safe and Effective?

Big Pharma just keeps marketing these drugs as ‘safe and effective”!

Check out the real life scenario.  The ‘Goliath’ TV show, I believe, was based on Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, those wonderful people that created a swath of death through America with Opioids.  Search images of them and you will find happy, smiling faces. 

To me, if you were looking for the devil on Earth, any one of the Sacker family would be a good stand in. 

Again, though, you could insert any of the previous ‘mood altering’ drugs mentioned earlier and have the exact same story.  The marketing and the way these drugs are advertised allows Big Pharma to spread a thin veneer of respectability over something that is inherently evil and horribly destructive. 

And I’m being nice.

If one needs more information on tapering off pharmaceuticals, you should really get and read Dr. Peter Breggin’s book Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal 


Here are the Aims of Psychiatry

#drugwithdrawal #kellybrogan #peterbreggin #drpeterbreggin  #goliath #sacklerfamily #purduepharma #psychiatry #bigpharma

Posted by Marty in Blog, 1 comment