There was recently a Town Hall hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN. The topic was opioids (what killed Prince, so they think), and how quick doctors are willing to prescribe them in order to keep pain manageable.
The whole show had a very strange, almost circus like appearance, perhaps because of the nature of its participants (there was this mom who brought her brain damaged son along, who sat next to her as she recounted how he became addicted to opioids, had an overdose, and lost part of his brain function), but more so because of the content of the show . A lot of the content was basically much too bizarre to believe. For example, while America has 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 80% of all opioids consumed.
One man gave a harrowing account of being in the hospital and being given fentanyl, when his chart explicitly stated that he was not to be given such painkillers. And then there is Rush Limbaugh, everyone’s favorite talk show host, who used to rail about lengthy jail terms for drug addicts, the whole time taking oxycontin by the handful.
But the main thing that all the guests and experts failed to address is the pressure that the pharmaceutical lobby must exert on the American people. Pressure that keeps large sections of the population addicted to prescription drugs.
Now that I have read several John Grisham paperbacks, I realize what snakes lobbyists are. They have really made this world a much worse place for everyone but themselves, and their corporate clients.