Opioid America

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Opioid America

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO AMERICA’S OPIOID SCOURGE, FROM BACKWOODS APPALACHIA TO HIGH-TECH SAN FRANCISCO

A secretive billionaire family pushes a pill that triggers more deaths than guns or car crashes.

Nan Goldin and thousands of Americans like her are coming after the Sacklers.

Goldin, a noted photographer, was addicted to Oxycontin, an opioid painkiller that’s twice the strength of morphine.

This little pill – backed by aggressive marketing to doctors and consumers - made the Sackler family its $13 billion fortune. It also tripped an emergency that kills 900 Americans each week and grips two million more in addiction.

Oxycontin was supposed to ease pain for the terminally ill. But via their private company Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers flogged it for everything from stress to crook backs.

Purdue and the Sacklers now face a welter of lawsuits alleging they knew how addictive Oxycontin would be. It could be the biggest class action ever.

The opioid epidemic may have just crested in America’s east, but not in the laid-back west coast. San Francisco has long tolerated an open drug culture, but city streets now brim with heroin and fentanyl addicts – 80 per cent of whom started on opioid pills.

A Foreign Correspondent Story

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Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation