A sense of betrayal seems to lie just behind today’s political discourse—a feeling of being left behind, a suspicion that those at the top, in media, corporations, politics, academia, and finance, have motives and goals at odds with those of the broader population. Put simply, Americans of all backgrounds fear and loathe a hostile elite. Political memes like “the Deep State,” “the 1%,” “Drain the Swamp,” “the Davos Set,” and “Masters of the Universe” each capture this feeling of alienation, suspicion, and helplessness.
Historically speaking, class rivalry is hardly unusual. But a political situation in which a ruling elite is actively hostile towards the population it governs is quite rare, but not without precedent.
With conservatives, the immigration question brings these feelings of betrayal to the surface, perhaps in their most pronounced form. The popularity of the chant “Build The Wall!” reveals this. “The Wall” is tacitly understood, by those who resonate with it, as a means of re-gaining control over their communities and country. In turn, both liberals and those who could properly described as political and social elites view “The Wall” as far more than a barrier to illegal entry: it is an attack on their values, if not a direct attack on them.
More than any other issue, the immigration question represents a yawning gap between elite and popular opinion, between the Republican establishment and its White voting base. If U.S. immigration policy since 1965—beginning with the Hart-Celler Act of that year—had ever been presented honestly, as leading directly to minority status for Whites by the mid-21st century, and if White people could vote on this basis while they were still some 85-90 percent of the country, it might never have passed. In a very real sense, this policy is illegitimate and we should view its effect in changing the demographic balance of the country as illegitimate. As I have argued based on the historical evidence, U.S. immigration policy stemming from the 1965 sea change is the result of the activism of an ascendant Jewish elite that now holds a dominant position in our culture—dominant in the sense that they are able to severely punish those who dissent from this project of racial replacement by, for example, slanting media coverage and threatening loss of job, and it is able to significantly reward those who go along with it—everyone who has any aspirations to public life understands what can and cannot be said, and great careers await those who go along with the system. This change in the demographic balance of the country was accomplished by promulgating a new “science” of race, stemming ultimately from ((((((((((((Franz Boas)))))))))))) and his protégés and entrenched in the top academic institutions, by founding and funding lobbying groups and positive media coverage.
The second component of this onslaught is that so many Whites are enthusiastically engaged in this project. They understand the reward-punishment choices and go along with them. Furthermore, many Whites are genuinely motivated by feelings of guilt and a desire to be virtuous—a virtue defined by incessant propaganda emanating from elite universities and media and facilitated by a science of race and by invidious, politically and ethnically motivated historical accounts of the history of White America. Others are motivated by misguided, suicidal dedication to “principles”—especially the individualist inheritance of Constitutional government, individual liberty, etc.
The theme here is the same—betrayal by a hostile elite and complicity of many of our own people targeting a vulnerable population which they hold in contempt.
Recently, the phenomenon of “The White Death” has entered the public consciousness and received comment by mainstream and elite sources. In a nutshell, working class Whites are dying at an increasing rate, whereas most studies show the mortality rates of non-Whites decreasing. For working-class Whites, almost every indicator of social dysfunction and depression are increasing: they are committing suicide; they are using drugs more often and with damaging results; they failing to establish families; they are sleeping more, watching television and streaming services, etc.
The opioid crisis is an intense expression of this broader phenomenon. The past two decades have witnessed a major increase in the use of prescription opioids as a means of pain management. Abuse has become rampant and a black-market economy has arisen. The most common of these drugs is oxycodone (marketed under the names OxyContin and Percocet); the synthesized drug fentanyl, which resembles heroin and morphine in its potency,
As the New York Times reports,
The current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Overdoses, fueled by opioids, are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old — killing roughly 64,000 people last year, more than guns or car accidents, and doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic did at its peak.
Fatalities resemble those of a World War. Some 250,000 people, mainly Whites, have died as a result of the abuse. The journal STAT has estimated that some 500,000 might die as a result over the next decade.
This story of the opioid epidemic cannot be properly told without an understanding of the dynamic between the working class and the American and global elite. This dynamic is similar in many ways to the framework of my book The Culture of Critique, except that, rather than positions at prestigious universities, contracts with top-notch publishers, and media influence, it’s mainly about the financial benefits to the Sackler family resulting in the deaths of around 250000 mainly White people—and still increasing year over year. As in The Culture of Critique, this was a top-down movement based ultimately on fake science created at the highest levels of the academic medical establishment, motivated by payoffs to a whole host of people ranging from the highest levels of the academic-medical establishment down to sales reps and general practitioner physicians.
A lot of the discussion centers around research by economists Anne Case and her husband, Nobel-winning Angus Deaton claiming that the increase in mortality comes from “deaths of despair [that] come from a long-standing process of cumulative disadvantage for those with less than a college degree. The story is rooted in the labor market, but involves many aspects of life, including health in childhood, marriage, child rearing, and religion.”
My basic theory here is that it’s not really about despair. I argue there are two things at work here: one is the decline in our culture generally brought about by the 1960s’ counter-cultural revolution affecting health in childhood, marriage, child rearing, and religion. But added to that is a very specific situation involving opioid drugs that in turn is linked to academic researchers willing to falsify data for financial gain, a corrupt pharmaceutical industry, especially Purdue Pharma owned by the Sackler family, and lax government regulation of drugs because of manipulation by the pharmaceutical industry.
The General Cultural Decline in the West since the 1960s
First the general decline in our culture. One of the themes of The Culture of Critique is that in general people on the lower end of the bell curve have been disproportionately affected by the cultural changes that have come to the fore since the 1960s. This was especially a theme of the chapter on psychoanalysis that focused on the effects of the sexual revolution. In general people on the lower end of the bell curve benefit more from strong social supports — in particular, support for marriage and against out-of-wedlock births. In my previous life teaching developmental psychology, the chapter on the family had charts showing that beginning in the 1960s there have been dramatic increases in out-of-wedlock births and divorce, resulting in many more children being raised without fathers. This opened up new fields in child psychology as psychologists investigated the effects on children of these cultural shifts. The results are clear: divorce, single parenting, and births out of wedlock are strong risk factors in a wide range of child problems, including delinquency, criminality, poor performance in school, poor physical and emotional health and early mortality—exactly the outcomes emphasized by Case and Deaton.
A theme of The Culture of Critique is that Jews were fundamental to the success of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s, whether it was as leaders of campus radicals or promoting the sexual revolution. Chapter 4 is dedicated to the assault on traditional Western sexual culture by psychoanalysis and related movements, and I emphasize that this revolution had a disparate impact on different IQ groups. Jews suffer to a lesser extent than non-Jews from the erosion of cultural supports for high-investment parenting and the decline in religious belief. Because Jews are a relatively high-IQ group, they have been relatively immune from these negative effects.
A major theme of The Bell Curve is that divorce and other measures of family dysfunction are more common at the lower end of the IQ distribution. The only reason I use IQ is that it is studied much more and can be very precisely measured, but you could get the same findings by using impulse control. People at the lower end of the IQ distribution also have more difficulty controlling their impulses, they are more prone to instant gratification rather than long-term planning and would be expected to be more prone to drug addiction. As a result, they suffer more from the erosion of cultural supports for high-investment parenting—delaying sexual intercourse, not getting pregnant before marriage, etc. When I was going to high school no one was having sex in my school—a Catholic school where the traditional supports were strongly in place. But we have to understand that since the 1960s there has been a very successful attack on this culture.
There’s no question that traditional religious belief was a major part of those cultural supports. Quoting from Chapter 4 of TheCulture of Critique:
As [Norman] ((((((((((((Podhoretz)))))))))))) (1995, 30) notes, “it is in fact the case that Jewish intellectuals, Jewish organizations like the American Jewish Congress, and Jewish-dominated organizations such as the ACLU… have ridiculed Christian religious beliefs, attempted to undermine the public strength of Christianity, and have led the fight for unrestricted pornography.” The fact is that psychoanalysis as a Jewish-dominated intellectual movement is a central component of this war on [non-Jewish] cultural supports for high-investment parenting. …
Although other factors are undoubtedly involved, it is remarkable that the increasing trend toward low-investment parenting in the United States largely coincides with the triumph of the psychoanalytic and radical critiques of American culture represented by the political and cultural success of the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s.
We should never forget that this war was inaugurated by ((((((((((((Sigmund Freud)))))))))))), a fake scientist who hated the people and culture of the West and imagined himself as Hannibal conquering Rome. And of course, people like ((((((((((((Freud)))))))))))) have come a long way in accomplishing just that. This was not a revolution motivated by love of humanity but by hatred toward the people and the culture of the West.
These trends have occurred in all races but they affect Blacks more than Whites because on average Blacks are lower on impulse control and around one standard deviation lower than Whites on IQ. Blacks have always had higher percentages of out-of-wedlock births, but the gap widened to the point that now ~72% of Black births are out-of-wedlock compared to ~36% for Whites, with Asians having even lower rates (~17%). This fits with Phil Rushton’s ranking of evolved race differences.. Sexual behaviors are heritable (genetically influenced): a study showed that before the sexual revolution, age of first intercourse was not influenced genetically because there were strong social norms against pre-marital sex; if there is no variation, then there can be no genetically influenced variation by definition, and as a result age of first sexual intercourse was not heritable. So in my high school, since no one was having sex, age of first intercourse was not heritable. But after the sexual revolution it became heritable: people prone to a slow life history pattern and high control of impulses were more able to delay onset of sexual behavior, avoid childbirth outside of marriage, and stay married. As would be expected given Rushton’s theory, the sexual/cultural revolution has been disastrous most of all for Blacks. In 1965, 24 percent of Black infants and 3.1 percent of White infants were born to single mothers compared to ~72% and ~36% now.
From “Was Moynihan Right?“
But here we are going to concentrate on Whites. In his book Coming Apart Charles Murray notes that for Whites beginning in the 1960s, there has been an increase in crime, lower levels of religiosity, work ethic, and marriage. For the upper-middle class, marriage went from 94% to 84% between 1960 and 2010, but for the White working class it went from 82% to 48%. For the White working class, never-married went from 10% to 25%; and there has been dramatically lower work force participation. Murray attributes this to a loss of “virtue” but he doesn’t discuss the forces and motivation behind this massive cultural shift.
From “Was Moynihan Right?“
It’s common among critics of Murray to claim that these shifts are all about economics rather than the broader culture. From this perspective, in the America of 1963, a high school graduate might expect to find a job which would allow him to marry and permit his wife the leisure to stay home and raise children. He could buy a freestanding house and a car, and still afford to take the family on a two week vacation every summer. The wife would have been reared with a view to preparing her for the duties of marriage and motherhood; she may even have taken ‘Home Ec’ in high school.
The problem with this is that all the trends affecting marriage and the family started in the 1960s when the White working class was doing well, reaching its “heyday” (Case & Deaton) in the early 1970s and stagnating thereafter. The steep upward trend in social/family dysfunction begins in the 1960s and continues to climb until around 1990 when it temporarily falls back before reaching new highs. By 1970, when the White working class was at its economic peak, out of wedlock births had already increased 3-fold from 1960 levels.
There’s no question that the period from 1948 to the early 1970s was the golden period for the working class (non-supervisory production workers)—strong unions and no outsourcing. But since 1973, the income for this group has actually increased ~9% (Figure 3 of a Pew study)—much less than for college-educated, but this is stagnation. It is certainly not a disaster. By itself, it shouldn’t cause increases in mortality given medical advances in the area of heart disease and cancer.
The Opioid Crisis is at the Root of Increased White Mortality
Case and Deaton point out that any economic explanation must explain why stagnant incomes cause early mortality in Whites but not in Blacks or in Europe, and they have a chart showing that “even if we go back to the late 1960s, the ethnic and racial patterns of median family incomes are similar for whites, blacks, and Hispanics, and so can provide no basis for their sharply different mortality outcomes after 1998.” This also rules out widening income inequality (“your income is going up faster than mine”), and it also precludes loss of virtue aided by generous welfare and disability programs because Europeans also have strong programs in these areas.
(However, I should note that recently University of Colorado researchers claim that they will soon be publishing an article showing similar increases in Blacks and Hispanics since 1998, but this still wouldn’t explain why these effects are not seen in Europe in several studies).
In general, according to Case and Deaton, the increased mortality among the White working class begins in the 1990s. The first cohort to really show increased mortality was the one born in 1950—they were 40 years old in 1990 and thus the first generation to experience the counter-cultural revolution as teenagers. For every cohort after that, the increased mortality from drug poisoning, liver disease, alcohol, and suicide starts at an earlier age and is steeper—it gets to higher levels faster. These trends are higher among men than women and vary by education, with Whites with high school or less showing by far the worst effects.
A 2016 article in the New York Times elaborates on the findings of Case & Deaton based on their examination of 60 million death certificates from 1990–2014, but pins the blame squarely on opioids, not on alcohol or suicide.“ “While the death rate among young whites rose for every age group over the five years before 2014, it rose faster by any measure for the less educated, by 23 percent for those without a high school education, compared with only 4 percent for those with a college degree or more.” They also found White mortality much higher than for Black mortality and argued that doctors do not prescribe opiates to Blacks because of fear they may sell them or become addicted, although the previously mentioned study by University of Colorado researchers suggests mortality for Blacks and Hispanics from opioid poisoning is also rising. The Colorado study also agreed with the New York Times study in not finding increases in deaths due to alcoholism and pinned the phenomenon squarely on the opioid epidemic. They note that mortality rates “took off around the time when prescription opioids became readily available, and it has kept rising steadily ever since.”
Given that the trend in mortality may not occur among Blacks and Hispanics and doesn’t occur in Europeans, we can’t suppose that the cultural shifts inaugurated by psychoanalysis are to solely blame. The general decline in the culture is separate from increases in mortality — just because your family relationships are dysfunctional doesn’t mean you are going to die young. However, I suspect that these two factors interact in the sense that if the cultural supports that existed up until the 1950s had remained in place, the White working class would not have succumbed to the opioid epidemic. Again, I stress that people with faster life history profile are less able to control their impulses and thus more prone to maladaptive behavior in a culturally permissive environment awash in drugs and where religious and other cultural constraints on sexuality have been removed. Putting these two things together— the cultural shifts brought about by the triumph of the counter-cultural revolution and the glut of opioid drugs — was a disaster for the White working class. In this regard it’s interesting that the first generation to show increased mortality was the one that became teenagers in the 1960s.
As I have noted, the problems disproportionately affecting the White working class stem from the changes wrought by the 1960s counter-cultural revolution. But the specific problem of increased mortality has to do mainly with opioids, likely in a context where working class Whites are less attached to their jobs—do not find their jobs rewarding, where they have available to them generous disability programs, where they are less likely to gain financially from experience on the job (unlike jobs where promotions are possible), and are more likely to experience pain as a result of their jobs than college-educated Whites. However, the example of European Whites shows that, even with very generous disability payments and the same profile for working class jobs as less rewarding, less likely to benefit from experience, and more likely to result in pain, there has been no upsurge in mortality.
My proposal is that the problem for the White working class is a greedy pharmaceutical industry that has manipulated government regulating agencies and mainstream opinion in the medical profession. A fundamental problem in dealing with this now is the cat is out of the bag. These trends toward increased mortality over 1999 levels will continue no matter what the government does about OxyContin. Increased regulation simply forces addicts into heroin and other illegal drugs. The latest data show that deaths from drug overdoses continue to increase, now around 65,000 per year, despite increased government regulation.
The Sackler Family Is Fundamentally Responsible for the Opioid Crisis.
This all started with Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family. This is an amazing and very depressing story.
Originally, OxyContin-type drugs were used only for severe pain — as continues to be the case in Europe, so their use was quite limited. Purdue’s program was to get OxyContin prescribed for even minor pain. Part of that was to claim that OxyContin was less addictive because it was timed-release, but simply breaking the pill up before swallowing negated the timed-release and they were well aware of that. Their promotional materials emphasized their humanitarian motives—what could be more high-minded than relieving pain without fear of addiction.
Purdue essentially created a very large community of people who benefited financially from prescribing opioids. They set up and funded organizations that lobbied for more aggressive treatment of pain by treatment with opioids. Millions were funneled into organizations like the American Pain Society and the American Academy of Pain Medicine and Purdue’s own advocacy group, Partners Against Pain, as well as to medical professionals willing to provide data supporting the movement. Purdue hired an army of sales reps to promote opioids to all medical personnel, from doctors to physician assistants. A consistent part of the pitch was to minimize addiction rates. Purdue claimed addiction rates were less than 1% by cherry picking studies that did not examine the effects of long-term use. Other studies often showed much higher rates, as high as 50%. This misrepresentation was at the root of the $600M judgement against Purdue obtained by the US government.
The original study claiming very low rates of addiction was in 1986 by R. K. Portenoy based on 38 patients.
Portenoy, of Metropolitan Jewish Health System in New York City, gained renown in the 1980s and 1990s for advocating consideration of opioid painkillers for patients with chronic pain of all kinds, at a time when such use was discouraged. In the 2012 WSJ interview, he conceded that research had not backed up the effectiveness of opioids for these types of pain and that the risks of addiction and other adverse effects were greater than he previously had indicated.
Portenoy also maintains financial relationships with opioid drugmaker Purdue Pharma, as well as other scores of other pharmaceutical companies, many of which have pain offerings: Afferent, Cephalon, CNSBio, Covidien, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, Grupo Ferrer, King Pharmaceuticals, NicOx, Prostraken, Shire, Solvay, Wyeth, Xenon, Archimedes, Baxter, Calloway, Flamek, Fralex, GW Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer.
Once Purdue showed how much money could be made, other pharmaceutical companies jumped into the market. When confronted with data showing that addiction rates were much higher, Portenoy recanted his strong claims but still maintained that opioids were a great treatment for non-cancer pain. And in any case, the damage was already done.
Propublica to their credit has taken a major role in showing how doctors and various organizations benefit from the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a pervasive problem in all areas of medicine, but quite often it’s because they promote drugs that don’t really work compared to placebos. They are not killing tens of thousands of people. Nevertheless, the lesson is to stay away from prescribed drugs as much as possible and do thorough investigations before taking anything. This is an incredibly corrupt industry from top to bottom and it goes way beyond being a specifically Jewish problem. However, the opioid epidemic is in large part a Jewish story.
When it comes to pain management, Propublica emphasizes the roles of two Jewish physicians, Scott Fishman and Perry Fine, prominently associated with the American Pain Foundation which got 88% of its budget from Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies. Fine has been funded by at least a dozen drug companies and Fishman has had relationships with at least eight companies, including Purdue, for which he was a consultant, paid speaker and recipient of research support. They claim that all this financial remuneration did not affect their opinions. And if you believe that, you are an idiot.
The FDA also played an important role, for example, not reviewing Purdue’s promotional literature which included a video that claimed addiction was “very rare”; this was eventually removed, but the damage was done. And of course, even if addiction rates were low when patients used the drug as their doctors intended, many quickly learned to break the tablets up and snort it or inject it. Again, becoming addicted is more likely to occur in people who have less impulse control—those in the lower part of the bell curve.
Purdue left no stone unturned. Hospital accreditation groups also played a role. Hospitals were required by the feds to administer questionnaires to patients recording their pain experience on a 10-point scale, and were threatened with loss of accreditation if they were found to be allowing too much pain.
In 2006, it … became mandatory to poll discharged patients about whether their pain had been adequately assessed and treated during their stay. The change was put in place by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acting on recommendations of the Joint Commission, the national nonprofit health care quality organization that accredits hospitals [which was funded by Purdue]. The results of these surveys are posted online and they contribute substantially to how the Joint Commission ranks hospitals. The results of these surveys can affect whether or not a hospital is eligible for Medicaid reimbursements, so scoring poorly can affect a hospital’s bottom line. In 2012, the Affordable Care Act made this connection even more direct when it gave Medicare the ability to withhold a portion of hospital reimbursement if patient satisfaction scores were low.
Unsurprisingly, under this regime, the number of opioid prescriptions increased dramatically. Worried that their survey scores would be low for not treating pain aggressively enough (and under pressure to address this), doctors began liberally prescribing opioids.(Jeremy Samuel Faust, ‘The Untold Story of America’s Opioid Addiction’)
Esquire’s Christopher Glazek writes:
Flush with cash, Purdue pioneered a high-cost promotion strategy, effectively providing kickbacks—which were legal under American law—to each part of the distribution chain. Wholesalers got rebates in exchange for keeping OxyContin off prior authorization lists. Pharmacists got refunds on their initial orders. Patients got coupons for thirty-day starter supplies. Academics got grants. Medical journals got millions in advertising. Senators and members of Congress on key committees got donations from Purdue and from members of the Sackler family.
They flew doctors to “seminars’ in fancy vacation destinations. Doctors who didn’t get on board were offered speaking fees to endorse OxyContin.
The feds finally sued Purdue in 2007, with Purdue pleading guilty to felony charges, admitting that it had lied to doctors about OxyContin’s abuse potential. Under the agreement, the company paid $600 million in fines and its three top executives at the time pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges—after thousands of deaths as a result of their actions. The executives paid $34.5 million out of their own pockets and performed four hundred hours of community service. It was one of the harshest penalties ever imposed on a pharmaceutical company but how can one take it seriously when the people responsible got away with pleading guilty to misdemeanors at a time when by 2001 Purdue was selling $1 billion of OxyContin yearly. In total, Purdue Pharma has made $35 billion, and the Sackler family walked away with around $13 billion.
Misdemeanor pleas for being responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people while walking away with billions.
Perhaps the height of cynicism was in 2010, when Purdue reformulated the drug to be less easy to snort—very near the end of its patent on the original version. So it got more years of patent protection.
So the Sackler family is in the clear and is now posing as great humanitarian philanthropists. It’s well known that opioid addiction in mothers has a devastating effect on newborn babies:
Opioid withdrawal, which causes aches, vomiting, and restless anxiety, is a gruesome process to experience as an adult. It’s considerably worse for the twenty thousand or so American babies who emerge each year from opioid-soaked wombs. These infants, suddenly cut off from their supply, cry uncontrollably. Their skin is mottled. They cannot fall asleep. Their bodies are shaken by tremors and, in the worst cases, seizures. Bottles of milk leave them distraught, because they cannot maneuver their lips with enough precision to create suction. Treatment comes in the form of drops of morphine pushed from a syringe into the babies’ mouths. Weaning sometimes takes a week but can last as long as twelve. It’s a heartrending, expensive process, typically carried out in the neonatal ICU, where newborns have limited access to their mothers.
Because of this sort of thing, the Sackler family has been especially motivated to make people think they care about children: “Several have made children a focus of their business and philanthropic endeavors. One Sackler heir helped start an iPhone app called RedRover, which generates ideas for child-friendly activities for urban parents; another runs a child-development center near Central Park; another is a donor to charter-school causes, as well as an investor in an education start-up called AltSchool.
And because they are such wonderful people they have donated to high-profile institutions, always with their name on it. So we have the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy Of Arts in London; the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities at the Louvre; The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington, and the Sackler gallery in Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale, and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. There is effusive praise from the beneficiaries. Tufts spokesperson said “It would be impossible to calculate how many lives you have saved, how many scientific fields you have redefined, and how many new physicians, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are doing important work as a result of your entrepreneurial spirit. You are a world changer.”
So Sackler is being praised for saving lives at a time when the opioid epidemic they started has claimed the lives of over 250,000 mainly White people.
One wonders if the Sacklers would have attempted to engage in such a campaign in Israel. Instead, they established the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, a medical school which is part of Tel Aviv University.
The opioid phenomenon reflects aspects of Jewish activism in general. These are top-down movements that are well-funded, they have access to the most prestigious institutions of the society, and, because of this prestige, they are able to propagate fake science. In the case of the Jewish drive to enact the 1965 immigration law, pro-immigration committees were funded, fraudulent academic studies were created on the benefits of immigration, prominent people were recruited (like JFK, recruited to put his name on a book titled A Nation of Immigrants written by Myer ((((((((((((Feldman)))))))))))) and published by the ADL), positive articles about immigration appeared in the media, lobbyists and politicians were paid. The main fake scientists discussed in The Culture of Critique were the Boasians with their fake race science (utilized in the debates over the immigration law of 1965), psychoanalysis with its fake sex science, and the Frankfurt School with its fake theory that ethnocentric Whites have a psychiatric disorder resulting from poor parenting. Like the fake scientists who participated in promoting the opioid epidemic, these activists had access to prestigious academic institutions and, in the case of the Frankfurt School and other activist academic research in the 1950s and 1960s, their research was funded by the organized Jewish community, such as the American Jewish Committee, and promoted by Jewish academics.
Or consider the neoconservative infrastructure, with think tanks funded, prominent spokesmen at prestigious universities, and a very large media presence. Neocons can bet that if they are forced out of a job in the Departments of State or Defense that they will have many options to fall back on. Despite promoting disastrous policies, such as the war in Iraq, and despite their obvious ethnic loyalties to Israel, they are still a very powerful component of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
Jews are an incredibly successful and influential group. We can’t win unless we understand that.
Who is the (((Sackler))) Family?
THE SACKLER FAMILY: A DYNASTY OF PHYSICIANS, ADVERTISERS AND PHILANTHROPISTS
Arthur Sackler, the eldest of the three brothers, paved the way for the family’s future wealth in 1952 when, at the age of 39, he bought a small pharmaceutical company called Purdue Frederick in lower Manhattan
It all started in 1952, when the Sackler brothers paved the way for the family’s future wealth by purchasing a small pharmaceutical company called Purdue Frederick in lower Manhattan; Arthur held an option to purchase a portion of stock while his younger brothers were active players in the new venture. (When Arthur eventually died in 1987, the option was sold to Mortimer and Raymond.)
At the time of the Sacklers’ Purdue Frederick purchase, Arthur and his brothers had already established successful careers as physicians. Mortimer and Raymond Sackler did substantial research in the fields of psychoanalytic disorders and drugs used to treat them. Their industrious legacy has trickled down through the family: Mortimer’s daughter Marissa went on to found the non-profit startup Beespace, which is involved with the Malala Fund, and Raymond’s son Richard eventually became Purdue’s president.
The company sprung from its humble beginnings when Arthur proved himself again as a trailblazer after he began working with a small ad agency in New York City, and excelled so much there that he went on the buy the company altogether. He possessed a unique understanding of the need for advertisements to appeal to its specific audience – a technique that was still in its infancy during the 1950s – catalyzing the hysteria surrounding new medical discoveries of the era such as steroids, antibiotics, and psychoactive drugs.
Arthur built up his experience by producing contracted advertisements for other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Roche in the late 1950s and 1960s. It was then that he began to cultivate questionable practices.
For a Pfizer ad promoting a new antibiotic called Sigmamycin, Arthur designed a spread of doctors’ business cards which were pictured next to the phrase: ‘More and more physicians find Sigmamycin the antibiotic therapy of choice.’ The only problem was – the doctors didn’t actually exist. An investigation in 1959 discovered that the doctors’ names printed in the ad were fabricated.
Arthur’s Roche advertisement in the 1960s was for Valium – depicting a woman surrounded by concerned doctors and family members because of her ‘psychic tension’, a 20th century term for what is now just considered stress. Valium became the first drug in US history to top $100 million in sales.
This work earned Arthur a spot posthumously in the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame in 1997 – citing his achievement of ‘bringing the full power of advertising and promotion to pharmaceutical marketing’.
After Arthur’s death, his branch of the Sackler family claim to have distanced themselves from the Purdue empire. His daughter Elizabeth told DailyMail.com she has never profited from Purdue Pharma or OxyContin
Mortimer and his wife Theresa were known as international philanthropists, and are pictured here in 2004 at the Cartier Dinner at the Chelsea Physic Garden
Despite their prominent status in the medical community, the Sacklers struck gold using their skills in advertising, publicizing products in a way that wooed the nation into popping pills by the billions.
When Purdue, and by proxy the Sacklers, developed OxyContin in 1996 – it was the same penchant for questionable advertising that landed them, and the nation, in trouble.
By this point, Arthur had already passed away in 1987, and the company was being headed by the youngest Sackler sibling, Raymond. Raymond and his brother Mortimer purchased Arthur’s share of Purdue Pharma for $22.4 million while pioneering its sister company, Napp Pharmaceuticals, in the United Kingdom. Less than a year before Raymond died in July 2017, Purdue was valued at $13 billion by Forbes.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Arthur’s widow, Jillian Sackler, said: ‘Arthur died nearly a decade before Purdue Pharma – owned by the families of Mortimer and Raymond Sackler (his brothers) — developed and marketed OxyContin. At the time of his death in 1987, Arthur was lauded for his contributions to medical research, medical communications and museums.
‘He was a renowned art collector and connoisseur, and because of this, we have the Arthur M. Sacker Gallery of Chinese Stone Sculpture at The Met, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard, the Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries at the Royal Academy and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Jillian Sackler Sculpture Garden at Peking University. None of the charitable donations made by Arthur prior to his death, nor that I made on his behalf after his death, were funded by the production, distribution or sale of OxyContin or other revenue from Purdue Pharma. Period.
‘Further, as a physician and medical scientist, Arthur was moved by a curiosity and desire to improve lives with new therapies. He made a substantial part of his fortune over 50 years in medical research, medical advertising and trade publications. His philanthropy in medicine extended to the Arthur M. Sackler Center for Health Communications at Tufts University and the Arthur M. Sackler Sciences Center at Clark University.
‘All these gifts, made in the 1970s and 80s, were made independently of his brothers and their families.’
A ‘MIRACLE DRUG’: HOW OXYCONTIN CAME TO BE – AND DUPED THE NATION
From 1999 to 2003 the company was run by Raymond’s son Richard Sackler. He oversaw much of the increasing sales of OxyContin as it was being falsely advertised
From 1999 to 2003 the company was run by Raymond’s son Richard Sackler.
Former Purdue employees told the New Yorker that Richard, now 72, is fiercely private, but extremely eccentric in the workplace. Richard assisted his father throughout the 1980s as the company pioneered their revolutionary ‘time-release’ morphine pill, which would gradually break down in the body over a longer period of time than traditional medications.
Purdue’s United Kingdom equivalent, Napp Pharmaceuticals, debuted their first time-release morphine pill in 1981 – known as the ‘Contin’ system. Six years later, in 1987, the MS Contin system made the jump to the United States.
The drug had one primary consumer: cancer patients. MS Contin was supposed to be able to provide longer-lasting pain relief throughout the night without needing an IV. However, this niche market was not incredibly lucrative, so Richard made it his goal to find broader uses for the Contin system.
Dr Andrew Kolodny, an addiction expert and Co-Director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University, explained further how Richard was able to make MS Contin became more widely prescribed, and gave way to the development of OxyContin.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘MS Contin was coming off patent, and that product had only really been prescribed to people with cancer at the end of life. You’re not going to make much money if your product is only being used by people at the end of their life. So they wanted to make a product prescribed for common chronic pain – people with pain from cancer is not a common condition.
‘Some of the patients enrolled in their clinical trials had a very hard time coming off of the drug – so [its addictive qualities] should not have been a surprise to them,’ he continued.
The Sacklers’ pharmaceutical efforts began with brothers Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond; in 1952, they bought a small pharmaceutical company called Purdue Frederick in lower Manhattan. Arthur’s children were not actively involved in the business, but sons and daughters of Mortimer and Sackler – as well as the wives they were married to at the time of their deaths – continued directorship of Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings, based in Cambridge, England; this family tree outlines the Sackler descendants and their connection with the family business
Richard Sackler’s former Greenwich, Connecticut home – where he lived with his wife and children before he divorced and moved to Texas – was situated on two acres, featured seasonal water views and a community dock in the gated neighborhood and included a pool and pool house
Richard Sackler’s former Greenwich home boasts a vaulted gallery and airy open spaces, befitting a family whose philanthropy often focused on the arts
Richard’s Greenwich home has since been sold; these real estate photos from last year show contemporary furnishings in the coveted residence
Jonathan Sackler, Richard’s brother and son of youngest brother Raymond, has been a huge supporter of education and has given tens of thousands in donations to the Democratic party; he and his wife have also held a fundraiser in their home (pictured) in the exclusive enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, with gorgeous views of the Long Island Sound
Dr Kathe Sackler and her wife, Susan Shack Sackler (fourth and third from left, respectively) are well-known for their philanthropic efforts; Kathe is the second daughter of founding brother Mortimer and was also listed as a Napp director as of December 2016
Dr Mortimer Sackler, Jr – who was also listed as a Napp director as of December 2016 – is pictured with his wife, Jacqueline, at the Winter Dance 2006 Desert Oasis sponsored by Versace at The American Museum of Natural History in February 2006
In 1990, then-Vice President of clinical research at Purdue, Robert Kaiko, suggested that they begin developing a new time-release pill containing oxycodone instead of morphine.
Though both drugs are opiates derived from the poppy plant, oxycodone came into the public eye at a time when morphine was being demonized – following a mass addiction to heroin by Vietnam veterans after the war.
Purdue’s product containing purely oxycodone – OxyContin – hit the shelves in 1996. A press release advertising the drug promised 12 hours of ‘smooth and sustained pain control’, diminished presence of ‘common opioid-related side effects’, and ‘improved patients’ quality of life, mood, and sleep’.
Oxycodone was then considered among doctors to be less powerful and addictive then morphine, though it was actually nearly 50 per cent stronger.
‘The argument they made was that since the drug is a longer lasting or slower release of the euphoric effect, it would be safer,’ Dr Kolodny continued.
However – the exact opposite was true, and the result has been devastating. Recreational drug users discovered that by crushing, snorting or injecting the OxyContin pills, they could bypass the time-release effect and get the full impact of the pill immediately.
In 2016, drug overdoses took the lives of 64,070 people – outnumbering the total American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War.
Bob Josephson, Purdue’s executive director for communications, provided the following company statement to DailyMail.com: ‘Despite how our critics portray us, and having less than 2% of all opioid prescriptions, Purdue has led industry efforts to combat prescription drug abuse which includes collaborating with law enforcement, funding state prescription drug monitoring programs and directing health care professionals to the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. In addition, we’ve recently announced educational initiatives aimed at teenagers warning of the dangers of opioids and continue to fund grants to law enforcement to help with accessing naloxone.’
FROM THE 90s TO NOW: OXYCONTIN’S PATH OF DESTRUCTION
Overdose deaths due to opioid drugs have steadily been on the rise for the last two decades, since the invention of OxyContin. The preliminary reports for 2016 only came to light in August of 2017, because characterizing overdose deaths is a difficult science.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that prescription opioids killed 14,400 people in 2016.
President Trump declared last month that the opioid epidemic is now a national public health emergency, saying: ‘As you all know, from personal experience, families, citizens and Americans across the country are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history.’
In declaring the widespread drug abuse a ‘public health emergency’ – efforts to combat opioid addiction now have access to a Public Health Emergency Fund totaling just $57,000.
This month, opioid commission member Patrick Kennedy slammed Trump’s declaration as a ‘sham’ – and that the government’s low-ball funding would not even scratch the surface of what is needed to combat the epidemic. In addition, many of President Trump’s policies stand to make the situation worse – including the proposed cuts of $722 billion to Medicaid by 2026.
For many, the issue has become one that can’t be ignored. It’s been a family member, a partner, or a loved one that has overdosed – and now it’s personal.
Revered photographer ((((((((((((Nan Goldin)))))))))))) published the devastating truth about her battle with OxyContin, and has launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #ShameonSackler to raise awareness about the family’s role in the crisis.
President Trump declared last month that the opioid epidemic is now a national public health emergency, which makes only $57,000 of public funding available
The artist was shocked to learn that the Sackler family was behind the production of the deadly drug, having seen their name grace the sides of galleries and museums she loved – such as the Sackler Courtyard, pictured here, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
When she learned that the Sackler family, whose named she’d grown accustomed to seeing in art galleries around the world, was responsible for creating the drug her body couldn’t resist, she was furious. Her life revolved around her addiction, she wrote, and the drugs were so easy to come by. Like many others, her addiction began when she was prescribed Oxycontin after undergoing surgery. Because of the drugs highly addictive properties, once she started, she couldn’t stop.
‘Counting and recounting, crushing and snorting was my full-time job,’ she said. ‘When I ran out of money for Oxy I copped dope. I ended up snorting fentanyl and I overdosed.’
She survived – and went into rehab, and has now been clean for over a year. But she’s seen how Oxycontin has irreparably destroyed her community – much like the HIV/AIDS epidemic did in the 1980s.
She continued: ‘I regret the time I lost, which is irretrievable. Now I find the world hard to navigate, but I have a sharpened clarity and a sense of purpose.’
In a statement, Elizabeth Sackler said: ‘The opioid epidemic is a national crisis and Purdue Pharma’s role in it is morally abhorrent to me. I admire ((((((((((((Nan Goldin))))))))))))’s commitment to take action and her courage to tell her story. I stand in solidarity with artists and thinkers whose work and voices must be heard.
‘My father, Arthur M. Sackler, died in 1987, before Oxycontin existed and his one-third option in Purdue Frederick was sold by his estate to his brothers a few months later. None of his descendants have ever owned a share of Purdue stock nor benefitted in any way from it or the sale of Oxycontin. I stand with all angry voices against abuse of power that harms or compromises any and all lives.’
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT THAT COULDN’T STOP THE SACKLERS
In 2007, an affiliated company, Purdue (Frederick), and three of Purdue’s executives pleaded guilty to ‘misbranding’ of Oxycontin – by saying it wasn’t addictive.
Purdue’s top lawyer, Howard ((((((((((((Udell)))))))))))), former medical director, Paul Goldenheim, and then-president Michael ((((((((((((Friedman)))))))))))) were sentenced to probation and agreed to pay more than $600 million in fines along with Purdue (Frederick) for their actions. It was one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in American history.
Purdue Pharma released an official statement: ‘Nearly six years and longer ago, some employees made, or told other employees to make, certain statements about OxyContin to some health care professionals that were inconsistent with the F.D.A.-approved prescribing information for OxyContin and the express warnings it contained about risks associated with the medicine. The statements also violated written company policies requiring adherence to the prescribing information.
‘We accept responsibility for those past misstatements and regret that they were made.’
Despite this, the drug hit peak sales at $3 billion in 2010.
Because the Sacklers had largely stepped away from direct management positions at that point, Purdue’s top lawyer, Howard ((((((((((((Udell)))))))))))) (right), former medical director, Paul Goldenheim (left), and then-president Michael ((((((((((((Friedman)))))))))))) were sentenced to probation and agreed to pay more than $600 million in fines
Though the Sacklers weren’t at the helm of Purdue at the time, but remained on the board of directors, they were spared them the brunt of the legal blowback that followed the scandal.
Richard, the last of the Sackler men, stepped down as President of Purdue Pharma in 2003, but remains on its board.
He sits on several other distinguished boards: Yale Cancer Center Advisory Board, Advisory Council for the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, Board of Overseers of the Tufts University School of Medicine, and the MIT Cancer Center Advisory Board.
Like their parents, cousins Elizabeth and Richard both have set up charitable funds in their names. Websites are not available for either.
Richard and his ex-wife Beth, divorced in 2013, made a number of donations through their foundation over the years, including to three anti-Muslim organizations that are characterized as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to Esquire.
They also donated to True the Vote – a volunteer organization that aimed to stop voter fraud that inspired President Trump’s fictitious claim that three million undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 election – stopping him from obtaining the popular vote.
Richard Sackler did not return the DailyMail.com’s request for a comment.
HORRIFIC OPIOID OVERDOSES ACROSS THE NATION
As President Trump has dubbed the opioid crisis a public health emergency – it’s revealed that opioids killed more Americans in 2016 than in the entirety of the Vietnam War, at an estimated death rate of 64,070 overdose deaths.
It’s an issue so pervasive that it has become personal for citizens nationwide. High profile opioid overdose deaths like those of Prince and Tom Petty have become as common as those of small town Americans. Some law enforcement officers have posting footage from the scene of dangerous overdoses in a desperate bid to make others aware of the severity of the situation.
In most cases today,deadly overdoses from prescription opioids like OxyContin aren’t as common. Rather, it’s the initial prescription of drugs like OxyContin for legitimate medical purposes that is the driving factor to the path of addiction. Even when taking OxyContin on the exact order of doctors, it is possible to still become addicted. If so, the need for the drugs euphoric symptom becomes unavoidable, and many will switch to heroin to obtain the same affect when OxyContin or other opioid drugs become too expensive, according to a 2014 study by JAMA.
Shocking photos posted on various social media sites have documented the real-world implications of what the overdose epidemic looks like.
The emergence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl has increased the frequency of fatal drug abuse, as its incredible potency makes it up to 40 times stronger than heroin. Ohio police sparked controversy by posting a photo of two parents passed out from an opioid overdose while driving with their child in the back seat. They defended their actions by expressing hope that it would raise awareness to the overwhelming prevalence of opioids in the country.
The horrific trend continued in Indiana when a 25-year-old mother was found unconscious with a syringe still in her hand while driving with her daughter in the back seat.
Ohio police sparked controversy by posting a photo of two parents passed out from an opioid overdose while driving with their child in the back seat (pictured left). The horrific trend continued in Indiana when a 25-year-old mother was found unconscious with a syringe still in her hand while driving with her daughter in the back seat
DEA Acting Administrator ((((((((((((Rosenberg)))))))))))) said in 2016 of the annual drug report: ‘Sadly, this report reconfirms that opioids such as heroin and fentanyl – and diverted prescription pain pills – are killing people in this country at a horrifying rate.
‘We face a public health crisis of historic proportions. Countering it requires a comprehensive approach that includes law enforcement, education, and treatment.’
Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death among young Americans – killing more in a year than were ever killed annually by HIV, gun violence or car crashes.
IN A CRISIS OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS: IS ANYTHING BEING DONE?
Dr Andrew Kolodny, an addiction expert and Co-Director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University, told DailyMail.com that most people who become addicted to heroin began as OxyContin users who were prescribed the drug for a legitimate medical condition
Purdue Pharma has made some effort to rectify the rampant addiction to their products. In 2012, the company debuted an abuse-deterrent version of OxyContin. Unlike its original formula, the new OxyContin cannot be crushed into a powder that can be snorted. Rather, it dissolves into a gel-like substance – which makes it more difficult to be injected.
Dr Kolodny also explained that these ‘abuse-deterrent’ drugs aren’t the solution to the problem.
‘It might release the drug a little slower than the original version– but basically that’s the main thing, it’s been made harder to crush for snorting or injecting. These deterrent formulations don’t do very much,’ he said.
By 2013, the FDA had outlawed the original formula of OxyContin, only allowing sales of its new gel version. Still, drug deaths climbed, particularly in rural areas where there is more manual labor. Because of the greater likelihood of developing chronic pain in manual labor, doctors in rural areas tend to prescribe painkillers ‘more aggressively,’ according to Dr Kolodny.
Nearly two decades after a letter to the Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine pioneered OxyContin’s initial safety – the same publication condemned it.
A study published in the journal revealed that most opioid users found ways around the new abuse-deterrent formula, and once addicted, they switched to cheaper options – primarily heroin.
Dr Kolodny said that most people who become addicted to heroin began as OxyContin users who were prescribed the drug for a legitimate medical condition. In addition, despite the fact that heroin deaths are rising among a younger population, he says that it is actually older people who are dying in greater numbers from OxyContin overdoses because they are prescribed it more often.
‘They [doctors] think that older people can’t get addicted,’ he said.
‘Older people who get addicted don’t have to switch so much, they can still get lots of pills pretty easily from doctors. Older people are overdosing from pills, younger people are overdosing on heroin, and now heroin with fentanyl mixed into it – or fentanyl sold as heroin, that’s where we’re seeing many deaths going up right now.
‘If you’re young and healthy-looking, they don’t want to give you a lot of pills every month, so once you’re addicted to maintain your supply you end up having to find an illicit source,’ he said. ‘The pills are very expensive on the black market, so people who are young and healthy looking and can’t get lots of pills from doctors, they switch to heroin.’
FIGHTING BACK: FIVE STATES HIT HARDEST BY THE EPIDEMIC SUE PURDUE
Efforts to hold the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma responsible for their actions for the last decade have been widespread, but largely unsuccessful.
On Tuesday, Alabama joined the ranks of more than 200 states, cities, and counties who have sued the company for the impact that OxyContin has had on their communities.
Last month, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio waged war on big pharma – and is suing Purdue, among other companies, for $500 million in damages caused to New York City by its residents crippling addiction to opioid products.
Last month, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio waged war on big pharma – and is suing Purdue, among other companies, for $500 million in damages caused to New York City by its residents crippling addiction to opioid products
In Kentucky, where opioid overdose deaths are among the highest in the nation, state officials were determined to confront the Sacklers with the proof of what OxyContin and heroin had done to their residents. As a result of the lawsuit, Purdue conducted a report on Pike County, Kentucky – an area substantially affected by the opioid crisis, as an attempt to demonstrate the potential for bias in their jury.
The report was damning: 29 per cent of Pike County residents said they personally knew, or someone in their family knew of someone who had died of an OxyContin overdoes, and 70 per cent of the sampled demographic said OxyContin was ‘devastating’ to the area.
Pike County isn’t even the hardest-hit by overdose deaths in Kentucky. A 2016 Overdose Fatality Report found that the counties containing the state’s largest cities, Louisville and Lexington, saw 1,782 overdose deaths that year alone, compared to just 128 in Pike County.
As a result of the lawsuit, Richard Sackler traveled to Louisville in 2015, nearly eight years after the suit was first filed, to give a deposition about his role at Purdue and its faulty advertising of OxyContin.
The contents of that deposition have been the subject of a tense legal battle in the years since. Soon after his trip, Purdue Pharma settled with the state for $24 million – far more than their original offer of $500,000. The company admitted no guilt in the public health crisis that has consumed Kentucky, and millions of trial documents were destroyed or sealed, including Richard Sackler’s deposition.
A judge ruled in 2017 that his statements should be made public – Purdue appealed the decision. His deposition remains under a protective order.
EFFORTS ABROAD: PURDUE’S PURSUIT TO KEEP OXYCONTIN ALIVE
Since the original OxyContin formula has now been banned in the United States, the abuse-deterrent version is the only one available. However, it’s being bypassed for safer treatments in recent years.
In China, however, Oxycontin has become particularly popular. As its population boomed, so did cancer rates. Among the elderly, the need for management for chronic pain is dire.
Dr Kolodony said: ‘They say risk of addiction is extremely low, fear of addiction shouldn’t be a barrier to compassionate treatment, that’s basically the way they promote it.’
‘It’s pretty awful, they’re using the same playbook that worked for them here and created an epidemic – knowing very well what happened here they’re doing the same way abroad,’ he continued.
Former addict and photographer ((((((((((((Nan Goldin)))))))))))) puts it a bit differently.
‘They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world. We demand that the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education. There is no time to waste.’
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If you do not understand by now, why jews historically have been kicked out of EVERY white nation throughout history, nothing, I mean nothing will wake you the fuck up.
(((THEY))) MUST BE REMOVED FROM OUR NATIONS
ALL OF THEM.
Kevin MacDonald, “Jewish Involvement in Shaping American Immigration Policy, 1881–1965: A Historical Review,” March 1998, accessed December 5, 2017, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226113583JewishInvolvementinShapingAmericanImmigrationPolicy1881-1965AHistoricalReview.
See, for example, Victor Tan Chen, “All Hollowed Out: The Lonely Poverty of America’s White Working Class, The Atlantic, January 16, 2016, accessed December 5, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/01/white-working-class-poverty/424341/.
Maya Salam, “The Opioid Epidemic: A Crisis Years in the Making,” the New York Times, October 26, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/opioid-crisis-public-health-emergency.html?_r=0.
Max Blau, “Opioids Could Kill Nearly 500,000 Americans in the Next Decade,” STAT, June 27, 2017, accessed December 5, 2017, https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/27/opioid-deaths-forecast/.
 Anne Case & Angus Deaton, ‘Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,’ https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/6_casedeaton.pdf
 ‘The psychometric assessment of human life history strategy: A meta-analytic construct validation,’ accessed December 5, 2017: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262972058_The_psychometric_assessment_of_human_life_history_strategy_A_meta-analytic_construct_validation
 M.P. Dunne, ‘Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Variance in Age at First Sexual Intercourse,’ http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00414.x, accessed December 5, 2017.
 G.A. Akerlof, ‘An Analysis of Out-Of-Wedlock Births in the United States,’ August 1996, https://www.brookings.edu/research/an-analysis-of-out-of-wedlock-births-in-the-united-states/, accessed December 5, 2017.
 Lawrence Michel, Elise ((((((((((((Gould)))))))))))) & Joel Bivens, ‘Wage Stagnation in Nine Charts,’ Economic Policy Institute, January 6, 2015, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/, accessed December 5, 2017.
 ‘Opioids and obesity, not ‘despair deaths,’ raising mortality rates for white Americans,’ Science Daily, July 20, 2017, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720142334.htm, accessed December 5, 2017.
 Gina Kolata & Sarah ((((((((((((Cohen)))))))))))), ‘Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites,’ New York Times, January 16, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/science/drug-overdoses-propel-rise-in-mortality-rates-of-young-whites.html?_r=0, accessed December 5, 2017.
 Art Van Zee, ‘The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy,’ American Journal of Public Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622774/, accessed December 5, 2017.
 Portenoy Opioid Talk Sparks Controversy: Opioid advocate Russell Portenoy’s invitation to an upcoming NIH workshop is under fire. Medpage Today, https://www.medpagetoday.com/painmanagement/painmanagement/47855, accessed December 22, 2017.
 See for example, Alison Bass, Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008); Melody Petersen, Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008); Christopher Lane, Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Yale University Press, 2008).
 https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/279187-responsible-opioid-prescribing-info, accessed December 7, 2017.
 Jeremy Samuel Faust, ‘The Untold Story of America’s Opioid Addiction,’ Slate, June 3, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2016/06/prince_s_death_reveals_how_wrong_our_over_reliance_on_dangerous_opioids.html, accessed, December 7, 2017.
 Vijay Prashad, ‘Big Pharma’s Pushers: the Corporate Roots of the Opioid Crisis,’ Counterpunch, November 17, 2017, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/10/big-pharmas-pushers-the-roots-of-the-opioid-crisis/, accessed December 7, 2017.
 Christopher Glazek, ’The Secretive Family Making Millions from the Opioid Crisis,’ Esquire, October 16, 2017, http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a12775932/sackler-family-oxycontin/, accessed December 7, 2017.
Opioid Crisis Takes A Toll On Economic Outlook
For Many Americans, Fed Says
The face of the nation’s opioid epidemic increasingly is gray and wrinkled.
But that face often is overlooked in a crisis that frequently focuses on the young.
Consider this: While opioid abuse declined in younger groups between 2002 and 2014, even sharply among those 18 to 25 years old, the epidemic almost doubled among Americans over age 50, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Because of information like that, the Senate Special Committee on Aging convened a hearing Wednesday on opioid misuse by the elderly.
“Older Americans are among those unseen in this epidemic,” said Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., Pa., the top Democrat on the panel. “In 2016, one in three people with a Medicare prescription drug plan received an opioid prescription. This puts baby boomers and our oldest generation at great risk.”
Unwittingly, Medicare compounds the epidemic by funding needed opioids that can be abused, but, generally, not funding the care and medicines needed to fight opioid addiction.
“Overall, one in three older Americans with Medicare drug coverage are prescribed opioid painkillers. However, while Medicare pays for opioid painkillers, Medicare does not pay for drug and alcohol treatment in most instances, nor does it pay for all of the medications that are used to help people in the treatment and recovery process,” William B. Stauffer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said at the hearing. “Methadone, specifically, is a medication that is not covered by Medicare to treat opioid use conditions.”
Offering scary statistics and practices involving older folks, Gary Cantrell, a deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic.”
He focused on Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Part D is the prescription drug section of Medicare, the government health insurance program covering older people. About a half-million Part D recipients “received high amounts of opioids” in 2016, Cantrell said. Almost 20 percent of that group are at “serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose,” he warned, placing the high risk in two categories – those receiving “extreme amounts of opioids” and some “who appeared to be ‘doctor shopping.’ ”
Doctor shoppers “each received high amounts of opioids and had four or more prescribers and four or more pharmacies for opioids,” Cantrell explained. “While some of these beneficiaries may not have been doctor shopping, receiving opioids from multiple prescribers and multiple pharmacies may still pose dangers from lack of coordinated care. Typically, beneficiaries who receive opioids have just one prescriber and one pharmacy.”
Many elderly get hooked on opiates through prescriptions, rather than street drugs like heroin.
“Older adults are at high risk for medication misuse due to conditions like pain, sleep disorders/insomnia, and anxiety that commonly occur in this population,” said Stauffer, who is in long-term recovery. “They are more likely to receive prescriptions for psychoactive medications with misuse potential, such as opioid analgesics for pain and central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines for sleep disorders and anxiety. One study found that up to 11 percent of women older than age 60 misuse prescription medications. The combination of alcohol and medication misuse has been estimated to affect up to 19 percent of older Americans.”
Sixty-one-year-old Denise Holden is in long-term recovery, too, but she became addicted as a young woman seeking a heroin high. She’s been in recovery for almost 25 years, after first using drugs when she was 19. She got clean, then relapsed, as is common, then got clean again. Staying that way, even after decades clean, is not easy.
“I recently had back surgery,” the West Melbourne, Florida, resident said in an interview. “I had a spinal fusion and so I had been taking opiates for a period of time. You know, the older we get the more aches and pains we get. . . . We injure ourselves, we have surgeries. So, for people in recovery it’s a slippery slope because when you reintroduce that opiate to your system, your mind starts playing all kinds of tricks on you – ‘Oh you should take more, oh you should take less, oh you should throw them out. Oh no, take them all at once.’ It’s very difficult, like it’s a mind game. It is very challenging I would say, but it’s not impossible.”
Holden urged seniors to take medicines only as prescribed, and if they have suffered drug abuse to “work a very strong program of recovery.”
Addiction isn’t the only risk with opioids. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the committee, said, “Older adults taking opioids are also four to five times more likely to fall than those taking nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.”
That points to a vicious cycle. Taking opioids can lead to falls, falls can lead to pain, pain can lead to opioids and opioids can be abused. On top of that, doctors might not even realize the source of an elderly patient’s problem.
“Regrettably,” Collins added, “health-care providers sometimes miss substance abuse among older adults, as the symptoms can be similar to depression or dementia.”