RT TV – United States: The Pain Killer Nation

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MEDIA ROOTS — Whether for healing, meditation, or recreation, psychoactive substances have played a significant role in most cultures throughout human history. The United States is of no exception.

In 1895, the Bayer aspirin company used to market Heroin as an over the counter cough syrup. Up until the 1930s, opium tincture, morphine and heroin were available over-the-counter and millions of Americans were becoming addicted. In contrast, many of these same substances are now considered highly dangerous by the Drug Enforcement Agency and in many cases are illegal altogether.

Today, there are new names for nearly equally powerful and addictive substances like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Dilauded and Fentanyl. Fentanyl, a drug far more potent than heroin or Morphine comes in convenient lollypop and patch form for easy consumption which is distributed legally by pharmaceutical companies.

Most pharmaceutical production facilities do not start with pure chemicals when manufacturing these medicines. They instead use opium latex derived from poppies to produce drugs such as Vicodin. India and Nepal, for example, maintain opium latex factories to export this material globally. This practice remains legal while natural opium consumption and distribution can carry a ten-year prison sentence in most states.

With the war in Afghanistan continuing to rage on, heroin production has actually increased because of the continued presence of the United States military. Additionally, President Obama’s recent healthcare legislation has only stimulated opiate production anddistribution by mandating consumers to buy into the health insurance industry. Consequently, profits of large pharmaceutical companies continue to grow while the ubiquity of painkillers for future Americans is ensured.

Robbie Martin for Media Roots

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Abby Martin on RT, ‘Painkiller Nation’


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RT – Approximately 100 million working American are uninsured in the US and lack of health care ranks as the seventh cause of death. President Obama has attempted to reform healthcare, but has only fallen short. Many critics believe Obama forcing people in America to obtain healthcare is a power grab from pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Darcy Smith, a licensed clinical social worker, joins us to discuss this growing trend of pill popping.

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4 thoughts on “RT TV – United States: The Pain Killer Nation

  1. This story is close to my heart. My younger brother passed away from an oxy/zanax OD in 2007. He was seeing one of those “chronic pain doctors” who was SELLING him prescriptions on the side (usually in an ally) for $500 a pop. Over 7 months his insurance company (Blue cross) paid over $289,000 for over 10,000 pills! He used 7 different pharmacies to fill these. Despite a DEA investigation (4 of the pharmacies had officially notified the authorities about this MD) nothing happened. The doc (John Legowic) was protected by LLC and had 5 clinics in FLA. He still has two left. My mother tried to intervene by: calling the pharmacies, the insurance co., the medical board, calling the pain doc to ask him WTF he was doing, and notifying the police months before his death. Nothing ever came of it except the inevitable. I used to laugh at junkies, but now I realize they are normal humans sinking in quick sand provided by our government. RIP CTM, I miss u forever!

  2. Left comment on screen without clicking “send” and when I refreshed it, the article I was reading changed. I’m not sure now which article it was now because I read several, but either Abby or Robbie wrote it. The point is, as a bit of constructive criticism, I believe that you guys should not refer to people as complacent cretins. It’s almost as if you’re disgusted with them. Cretin is what Megatron calls humans. It’s something an elitist would say. Anyways, you guys are great and thanks for setting up this site!

  3. I don’t think when informing people we should refer to the average american as a “complacent cretin”. Whether that’s true or not, we should never condescend to the uninformed or lazy. It detracts from the importance of the information. For instance, the way that the makers of Zeitgeist spoke of the average citizen in the film was demeaning and a bit elitist.

  4. Only a complete idiot would think the government could do anything better than the private sector! Thanks to government intervention and regulation of this industry, the only choice a Doctor has is to cut or burn or poison his patients without going to jail.

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