Hold the Sackler Family and Purdue Pharma accountable for the Opioid Crisis
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I survived the opioid crisis. I narrowly escaped. I went from the darkness and ran full speed into The World. I was isolated, but I realized I wasn’t alone. When I got out of treatment I became absorbed in reports of addicts dropping dead from my drug, OxyContin. I learned that the Sackler family, whose name I knew from museums and galleries, were responsible for the epidemic. This family formulated, marketed, and distributed OxyContin. I have decided to make the private public by calling them to task.
- Nan Goldin, New York, 2017
The Sackler family produced their vast fortune promoting OxyContin, one of the most addictive painkillers ever. They advertised and distributed their medication knowing all the dangers. The Sackler family and their privately owned company, Purdue Pharma, built their empire like every other drug dealer; exploiting the physical and emotional pain of people, knowingly getting them addicted to their product, OxyContin. In 2016, in the US alone, more than 43,000 people died from opioid overdoses, over a quarter of them from prescription opioids; 80 percent of heroin addicts began on prescription opioids. The statistics are staggering. It's time for the family that helped create this problem answer to the people worst affected. We demand they fund treatment.
P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) is a group founded by Nan Goldin and her colleagues in response to the opioid crisis. We are committed to making the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma responsible for helping to find solutions to ending America’s opioid epidemic. To that end, we insist that the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma fund treatment and education programs and correct the misinformation regarding opioids. We intend to put pressure on museums, art spaces and educational institutions to refuse future donations from the Sacklers. We intend to hold the Sacklers accountable, and put social and political pressure on them to respond meaningfully to this crisis.
This is a call for accountability.
We demand an immediate response from the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma to this epidemic.
Specifically, we demand that the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma move their money into treatment and education in the following ways:
• We demand that they fund treatment models: rehab centers, medication assisted programs, harm reduction, relapse prevention and holistic approaches.
• We demand that they set up educational programs for schools, doctors, families and addicts.
• We demand that they reeducate doctors to stop over-prescribing these medications except for patients who are in extreme pain.
• We demand that they advertise the dangers of their products as aggressively as they sell them to the public.
• We demand that they install public dispensers of Narcan, the medicine that reverses an overdose, on every corner in America.
• We demand an immediate response to this epidemic, which is out of control.
There is no time to wait!
Today: P.A.I.N. Sackler is counting on you
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