The War on Drugs has been waged against illegal drugs, but what about the millions of Americans taking prescription drugs illegally? Big pharma are our new drug dealers, and doctors the pushers. Pharmaceutical companies are more profitable than any other kind. They make HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars, people get hooked, people die, and nobody ever goes to prison for it.
While Nancy Reagan preached about drug abuse, her husband was lifting bans on advertisement and loosening drug regulations. Commercials convince us to need drugs. Ask your doctor, they say, if this drug is right for you. They list a litany of vague symptoms so that you’ll identify with at least one. But how many pills do we really need? Science has proven that most cholesterol drugs are bullshit, and having too little cholesterol is quite dangerous, but those drugs are top-sellers. Even better: the second-highest grossing drug is Viagra, which treats the impotence cause by the cholesterol drugs. Doctors are in the “business” of selling drugs, and the people who come to see them are customers, not patients.
The topic here has got a lot at stake, so it’s frustrating when filmmaker Chris Bell treats it so superficially. It’s not a very good documentary, even before the “conflict of interest” is revealed.
Prescription drugs are overused, there’s no doubt about that. Prescription Thugs claims that every 19 minutes in America, someone dies of a prescribed drug overdose. Has a crime been committed? What’s going on here? There are a lot of questions to be asked and I only wish it was someone other than Chris Bell doing the asking.
Heath Ledger, a fabulously talented actor, died unexpectedly in January 2008 of accidental drug overdose\intoxication. Pharmaceuticals: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine. Pain relief, cough suppressant, anti-anxiety, sedative. His doctors were questioned but not charged. Mary Kate Olsen was found to be “not a viable target” in an investigation. We don’t know how he got the drugs, only that he took them, in excess, and he died too soon, leaving behind a very young daughter who will never know her father.