The renowned Sackler family, which owns and runs OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, is now facing a lawsuit for their alleged involvement in fueling the deadly opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives nationwide. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey named eight members of the Sackler family in an 80-page lawsuit, accusing Purdue of spinning a “web of illegal deceit” to maximize profits. Filed at the behest of 670 Massachusetts’ residents, the lawsuit alleges that these unwary individuals were prescribed OxyContin, leading to an addiction and death.
According to the complaint, Purdue fraudulently misrepresented the risks of OxyContin to doctors, pushing them to prescribe the addictive pills to their patients. The company also aggressively targeted veterans and seniors by downplaying the addictive nature of its opioid painkillers, and overstating the benefits of long-term use, the lawsuit said.
The Sacklers’ name is associated with America’s most illustrious institutions of culture and learning. The family runs the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development in Manhattan, Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University.
Purdue Pharma has been facing the heat of the ongoing opioid epidemic for the past several months. In May this year, prosecutors in the states of Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas had filed lawsuits against the drug maker, accusing it of resorting to deceptive marketing tactics to deceive unsuspecting customers and boost the sales of prescription opioids.
Official data shows that the opioid epidemic is claiming more lives than guns or road crashes in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription painkillers and heroin) was five times higher than in 1999. On an average, 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. Estimates suggest that about 100 million Americans grapple with chronic pain in their daily lives, which has led to dependence on prescription opioids for long-term pain management. Shockingly, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for misusing prescription opioids every day.
Painkillers prove to be effective only if taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, their misuse or abuse may lead to addiction, causing people to languish in the throes of a drug addiction. In fact, studies show that prescription drugs are widely abused in the country, which are succeeded by addictive substances like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. According to the CDC, sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. jumped almost four times between 1999 and 2014.
Using prescription opioids over a long period alters the way nerve cells function in the brain. In most of the cases where opioid painkillers are used to manage chronic pain, the nerve cells in the brain get accustomed to the presence of the drug in the body. Therefore, any abrupt attempt to wean such patients off the drug in a non-medical setup can send them into painful throes of withdrawal. In such a condition, it’s advisable to seek professional treatment from a reputed rehab facility to lead a sober life again.
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to a prescription opioid or any other harmful substance, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline that offers reliable drug rehab help. Call at our 24-hour drug helpline number 855-441-4405 to speak to one of our certified representatives or navigate to live chat to know about various state-of-the-art drug rehab centers across different locations in the U.S.