The Family That Built an Empire of Pain | The New Yorker →

A great and depressing read about the history of OxyContin and the Sackler family. The daughter of one of my family friends had fought an addiction to Oxy, and later heroin, and fortunate for her, she was able to overcome her addiction. As this article describes, many are not as fortunate.

David Juurlink, the Toronto doctor, told me that opioids are problematic even for users who don’t succumb to addiction. “Opioids really do afford pain relief—initially,” he said. “But that relief tends to diminish over time. That’s, in part, why people increase the dose. They are chasing pain relief from a drug that has failed. I see all these people who are convinced they are one of the ‘legitimate’ pain patients. They’re on a massive dose of opioids, and they’re telling me they need this medication, which is clearly doing them harm. For many of them, the primary benefit of therapy, at this point, is not going into withdrawal.”