The opioid crisis in the USA | DW Documentary
- Published on Aug 29, 2019
- Opioid addiction has already cost nearly 200,000 lives in the US alone. But recent figures indicate the crisis is no longer a purely American problem. The use of these painkillers has also increased in Germany and France in the last few years.
Overdoses of painkillers have been responsible for nearly 200,000 deaths in the US in the last five years alone. US pharmaceutical company johnson and johnson has just been sentenced to a fine of over 500 million dollars. These painkillers contain opioids - artificial morphine. They work quickly and reliably - and are highly addictive. The opioid epidemic has destroyed families and entire communities and paralyzed the economy in many regions, affecting all age groups and social strata. Most of the medical practices and clinics that for years prescribed millions of opioids are now closed, and physicians, pharmacists, wholesalers and manufacturers are facing a wave of lawsuits. But at the same time, there is now a flourishing black market on the streets and in the darker reaches of the Internet.
Purdue, a pharmaceutical company, made a profit of over 35 billion Euros from the opioid painkiller OxyContin. It was marketed as completely harmless, but in reality, OxyContin, like other painkillers such as Fentanyl that are prescribed on a massive scale in the USA, can become addictive after only a short time. But we can no longer write the opioid crisis off as a purely American phenomenon. In Germany, too, the amount of painkillers containing opioids prescribed by doctors increased by almost a third between 2006 and 2015. And the use of strong opioids in France has also risen sharply. The documentary investigates at first hand the health catastrophe in the USA and compares it with the situation in Germany and France.
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