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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Comments • 1 170

  • SiliconValley Attorney

    Why does no one take responsibility for their actions? No one forces you to swallow anything. Blaming others for your behaviour = LOSER.

  • Ben Stevens
    Ben Stevens 12 hours ago

    You choose you're own path.. If people can't change for a child then they never will!!!

  • Sly
    Sly 19 hours ago

    One of my best friends just passed at 19 from fentynl laced Xanax. One of the saddest days of my life. Pills are the devil

  • Tsnore
    Tsnore Day ago +1

    Guiliani had a hand in it - no surprise there.

  • Tsnore
    Tsnore Day ago +1

    Until the early 1960s doctors recommended cigarettes. What's next?

  • The Real SyXx Team Syxx Productions

    These pills almost destroyed my life. I pray these people pay for what they have done. I can't believe they pretty much turned me into a heroin addict. I never touched a bag of dope in my entire life.

  • Jürgen Richter
    Jürgen Richter Day ago

    The war on drugs has been lost since 10.000 B.C ;)
    Do it Like the czech Republic.
    In Every County in the World.
    People will always take drugs.
    Peace out

  • Selcuk Sahin
    Selcuk Sahin 2 days ago +1

    The US kills his own citizen!

  • Eric Cash
    Eric Cash 3 days ago +1

    2 yrs sober today. There are ways to stop.and stay stopped. Several ways that don't cost a penny!!

  • Joel Joel
    Joel Joel 4 days ago

    Yea polluting the river with plastic is going to solve everything

  • Joel Joel
    Joel Joel 4 days ago +1

    I take 1 oxy a day for 5 years now for the buzz and I’ve never been over do it and get hooked. Weak minded people get hooked. 3yrs and my body hasn’t grown used to it, 1 pill is enough for me and I’ve perfectly healthy

    RID COMICS 4 days ago

    You take pain medication to help stop pain only to end up in more pain because of the medication that was intended to prevent pain.
    If you could live to be 1000 years old would this ever make any god damn sense?

  • adam toth
    adam toth 4 days ago

    OC 80s aren't available anymore, clickbait

  • NonGmo1
    NonGmo1 5 days ago +2

    Crack epidemic(Black vs Opioid Addiction (mainly White)
    Those on Crack received Jail vs Opioid Addiction HELP
    Crack 3 strikes you're out vs opioid addiction Budget passed for help
    Crack lengthy prison time vs Opioid's special drug courts to NOT convict
    Crack pipes= jail time Vs Opioid /heroin you get FREE needles
    Nothing racist here to see is there?

  • Brian State
    Brian State 5 days ago +2

    Big Pharma: Oh yes, it's called "Pseudo-addiction," and the cure is...more!
    Seriously, you can't make this shit up.

  • NuNationsUnity
    NuNationsUnity 5 days ago

    Fentanyl is being used to harvest organs and body tissues both illegally, and legally with puppy & kittens. It's just a front to a bigger agenda.

  • The B
    The B 5 days ago

    They tried to give me oxycodone when i hurt hand at work. After seeing what that did to people I know I just threw the prescription in the trash and suffered.

  • Gar Oscar
    Gar Oscar 5 days ago

    Remember when you used to tell blacks to pick themselves from their bootstraps and to take responsibility and to say no to drugs during the crack epidemic? - well, somehow, that doesn't apply anymore eh?

    • Gar Oscar
      Gar Oscar 4 days ago

      @Blue Squirtle Yeah, keep putting excuses for poor judgement and lack of character

    • Blue Squirtle
      Blue Squirtle 4 days ago

      It's different when doctors are the ones handing them out.

  • Tom Sheils
    Tom Sheils 5 days ago

    My wife had a fatal car crash and it disabled her for the rest of her life and doctors just ignore her about pain management and so she has to suffer every day for that and It's cuz of ppl over dosing.

    • OBServe Garage
      OBServe Garage 3 days ago +1

      Tom Sheils fatal means deadly! She can’t be dead AND disabled, unless, of course, she voted for Killary Clinton.

  • Charles Tidwell
    Charles Tidwell 6 days ago

    If you are a drug addict and want to turn your life around, give your life to Jesus and He will save your soul.

    • Eco Earth
      Eco Earth Day ago

      We need to start taxing churches since they really are political organizations & would fund Rehabilitation for everyone. Obviously religion isn't the answer... they haven't helped in any meaningful way with this crisis or any pass crisis. Science rules!

  • K. Denise
    K. Denise 6 days ago +4

    "We let a problem become an epidemic, we should've fixed it when it was a problem" true.

  • ken seymour
    ken seymour 6 days ago

    Trying to get rid of opioid pain pills is not the answer you can’t just arrest are way out of this problem look what’s already happening fentynal is being ship to this country buy the tons if you never been dependent on opioids it not just a easy fix quitting cold turkey never works you will fail more times than not the body takes a long time to go back to normal

  • ken seymour
    ken seymour 6 days ago +1

    The perfect storm now heroin is the drug people are going to use when they can’t get prescription drugs. I believe they should give opioid replacement therapy to the people

    • millie
      millie 4 days ago

      ken seymour heroin and increasingly fentanyl (which is 50x more potent than heroin), exactly!

  • J. Spaulding
    J. Spaulding 6 days ago


  • ggroff73
    ggroff73 7 days ago +1

    Just smoke weed, it works amazing. I broke 4 vertebrae in 2015, I was prescribed pain killers.
    I took one, and I didn't like how I felt.
    I have been using marijuana at night before bed, and I'm good.
    I am a tow truck operator, so I am up and down all day.

  • Steven Amato
    Steven Amato 7 days ago

    Take in the courts cancer patients, people with MS everyone who suffers from Pain even to your chronic pain patients like myself I think in that case justice will prevail and we will have something to get us by I am in almost tears probably more than 12 hours a day. It's not supposed to be like that. I am not a fat slob the jobs I've had were longshoreman on Docs, Roofing, Steel, installation of carpets. So do you think I might suffer.

  • Steven Amato
    Steven Amato 7 days ago

    What's funny in the 70s we actually used to give Percocets and Percodan Dilaudid Demerol they were throwing drugs. While people were getting stuff off of you, we would just throw it in we were kind of gentleman drug dealers. Not today they want to remortgage your house and take it off you so you can buy a pill with it.

  • Steven Amato
    Steven Amato 7 days ago

    Legalized if you suffer from chronic pain which I do head to toe back to front I'm 57 years old I cannot work I get no check I don't ask for free money all i want is to be free from pain. And now the doctors are afraid to lose their license I don't blame them. I know I need help just to do common stuff around my house wash the clothes clean the house make dinner I am a stay at home husband luckily my wife makes great money who is very anti-drug herself I need 4 a solution, legalized. I do not do the pills every day I do as needed.

  • KentuckyRebel11
    KentuckyRebel11 7 days ago

    Bunch of bitter blacks in the comments.

    • Patrick Kazan
      Patrick Kazan 4 days ago

      that is what injustice does. you would feel the same if subjected to the same things they endure

  • Juan Lopez
    Juan Lopez 8 days ago

    If this is all true fuck man everything in this world is a hustle i swear !! And if you denie it or think otherwise u blind. . the government is just like the mafia all this is ...
    All this just sounds straight like a hustle is just a fu king cycle is just fu ken crazy.

  • SkylineToTheSeaAndMe

    And none of this means that people who legitimately and seriously need pain relief for an injury or illness shouldn't be able to get it. Yet that's what happens. Good people are suffering and have even committed suicide because scumbag doctors say: No,... Sorry there's an opioid epidemic in America. I'm like so fucking what? I'm in pain and I'm not an addict. I would only take it if I actually need it. Another important point is this: Somewhere in our society, allowing ourselves to be brainwashed by and indoctrinated with, leftist values, we have lost the concept of personal responsibility and self discipline. And when that happens, it then somehow magically becomes the "fault of society" rather than the addict or abuser.

  • james sullivan
    james sullivan 10 days ago

    Better than living to 100 an having to have your diapers changed.

  • João Roso
    João Roso 10 days ago

    4 decades of unecessary pill based heroin selling and no one says a thing, only when the number of deaths is already astronomical?? The pharmaceutical companies creates this mess then profits with anti od antidote??
    HEHEHE we creat the disease and then sell the cure! american exceptionalism right there!

  • Daro The Ancient Babylonian

    if the ones whoh died would take it as prescribed nobody would be dead now.
    Damn do not overdose you fools are you so dumb and do not know the risks of taking more than you should.

  • James Riley
    James Riley 10 days ago

    OB suburban people are just weak. What's so hard to just say no to drugs. Isn't that what you guys said to black people during the 80s crack era...??? but some of them always try to find an excuse as to why they need those drugs. They are all weak.

  • Valhura77
    Valhura77 10 days ago

    If my son or daughter died due to the lies of these scum, there would be further not so swift deaths

  • allan Bell
    allan Bell 11 days ago


  • B T
    B T 11 days ago

    This is what's killing our kids, not vaping.

  • Andrew Johnston
    Andrew Johnston 11 days ago +1

    I'm a recovering addict, I can tell you that those drugs are the devil in pill form

  • cattleNhay (aka Eggman)

    Just like everything else in American society, this so called epidemic is engineered by the evil US gov.
    They gave out pills like candy for years, get everyone hooked..then stop the pills and offer heroin cheaper. They just import from know, their last war for profit.
    God bless our war of terror domestic and abroad !

    • DMV conARTISTS
      DMV conARTISTS Day ago

      I do agree that that war was some phony horse crap tho. And yeah we got some heroin there but it was obviously much more about getting the oil than the poppies!

    • DMV conARTISTS
      DMV conARTISTS Day ago

      Except it was a private company making oxycodone not the government and heroin doesn't come from afganistan it comes from Mexico.

  • Darrell May
    Darrell May 12 days ago

    Don't give smart drugs too stupid people,,,,

  • Steph anie
    Steph anie 12 days ago

    big pharma and money,, noone cares about the people. Big pharma is evil

  • Ibrahim Osman
    Ibrahim Osman 12 days ago +7

    poor white people send their son's to Iraq and Afghanistan and they get perdue, the ingredients for the pills are from Afghanistan, the irony. karma is beautiful

    • Ibrahim Osman
      Ibrahim Osman 7 days ago

      @Steven Amato why don't you have opioid epidemic in Europe then??

    • Steven Amato
      Steven Amato 7 days ago

      Sadly enough to heroin that comes in the United States is not from Afghanistan it is from Burma and now Mexico's poppy fields what's coming from Afghanistan it's going to Europe. I know those same s*** different day you are correct.

  • קיריל סגדין
    קיריל סגדין 13 days ago

    Oxycodone is hell of a drug!

  • Heiner Alexander Herrera

    The pharmaceutical industry hasn't never been concerned about the negative effects of its products. Instead, it's been a thriving business concerned about the profit. Completely regrettable.

  • Battle Born Renegades MC

    Thank you to all you fucking pill junkies, I’m someone who has legitimate chronic pain that I have to deal with everyday and it’s made my life miserable. I haven’t slept more than a hour at a time in 5 years. Why? Because doctors refuse to give me pain meds. Even though I have multiple issues. These drugs use to completely give me a good quality of life, now I don’t want to live and it’s all because so many Americans Abuse pain meds. I have no pity for these people, I used mine medicinally. Now I’m screwed.

  • Mario Alfaro
    Mario Alfaro 14 days ago

    Here in the US, drug companies caused the opioid problem, but it is our refusal to treat drug addiction as a disease that perpetuates the epidemic.

  • Daniela Patino
    Daniela Patino 14 days ago

    they don’t care is all about the money 💰
    Money money money ...
    Is all corruption ... sadly every country has corruption no matter what :(

  • Mass Kreations
    Mass Kreations 14 days ago

    “Opioid Crisis” is what they tell us. They say there fighting against it bc so many people are dyeing. So is the people really what your interested in helping? Bc those same people your claiming to be trying to help, is the same people that you have no problem locking up in prison for decades. So which is better? Let them take responsibility for there own life and do what they want or for you to take responsibility for there life and save them only to cage them like an animal? Pathetic government and disgraceful antics. Drugs are bad, I agree totally, but losing our rights to choose our own paths and make decisions for ourselves is not only wrong, but it’s also taking away more and more of our rights that apparently doesn’t amount to shit anymore.

  • Denis Moi
    Denis Moi 14 days ago


  • 14 days ago +1

    People from all over the world are living a life full of insecurities and anxiety. Consequently, they get sicker, they feel more pain, more discomforts which lead them straight to opioids. The pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers saw an opportunity to further spread their drugs and for over 10 years careless administrations allowed it.

  • Jordan Bivins
    Jordan Bivins 14 days ago

    I totally understand it should have been a legal from the start

  • Georg Temml
    Georg Temml 14 days ago

    That drone bass sound is just unbearable...cant listen to anything thats said while that is playing in the foreground...

  • lim hon
    lim hon 14 days ago +1

    Drug addiction is the greatest curse on anyone.

  • anhtuan pham
    anhtuan pham 15 days ago

    spells of dizziness: các đợt chóng mặt
    gene mutation
    propensity= tendency
    hereditary adj= di truyền
    incurable: không thể chữa được
    well- acquainted with: quen thuộc với ai
    irreversible: ko thể đảo ngược
    ascribed to = attributed to
    genetic predisposition: yêu tố di truyền
    be passed down from.... to

  • mwanguhya edgar
    mwanguhya edgar 15 days ago +5

    😂😂😂😂 These Americans always want a scapegoat for their weaknesses. You're just drug addicts. So whoever is addicted to morphine should also sue the company that makes morphine? Nothing in the leaflet says *crush and snort*

  • jordan wiggins
    jordan wiggins 15 days ago

    Opioids are like guns... they're a tool that can be misused or can be life saving. Just because someone dies from one doesnt give you the right to regulate it out of everyone's hands. We shouldnt have to pay for people misusing tools.

  • Snake Plisskin
    Snake Plisskin 15 days ago

    make money - kill gentiles - win, win!

  • kirk capp
    kirk capp 15 days ago

    It's a choice.

  • Sassy Ma
    Sassy Ma 15 days ago +2

    Doctors ruined my life with pills and I wish we could sue them for not properly winging us off them in stead of you don't pick up all the scripts they write you besides the pain pills they will fire you and send you to a pill mill which makes the dependency of pills in to full blown addiction!! Thanks doctors I'm still suffering from the first time I saw you, you never even helped me you turned me into a junkie!!!!! Makes me sooo angry why can't we sue those doctors!!

    • OBServe Garage
      OBServe Garage 3 days ago

      Sassy Ma you could easily sue your doctor for mal practice. Could you afford the litigation costs is the question?

    • mwanguhya edgar
      mwanguhya edgar 15 days ago

      Take some fucking personal responsibility