Sunday 24th of September 2023

as time goes by....


Time 1981... 41 years ago... [updated 20/02/2022]

1998.... then the apps came in....

supply and demand...

The war on drugs in the United States has been a failure that has ruined lives, filled prisons and cost a fortune. It started during the Nixon administration with the idea that, because drugs are bad for people, they should be difficult to obtain. As a result, it became a war on supply.

As first lady during the crack epidemic, Nancy Reagan tried to change this approach in the 1980s. But her “Just Say No” campaign to reduce demand received limited support.

Over the objections of the supply-focused bureaucracy, she told a United Nations audience on Oct. 25, 1988: “If we cannot stem the American demand for drugs, then there will be little hope of preventing foreign drug producers from fulfilling that demand. We will not get anywhere if we place a heavier burden of action on foreign governments than on America’s own mayors, judges and legislators. You see, the cocaine cartel does not begin in Medellín, Colombia. It begins in the streets of New York, Miami, Los Angeles and every American city where crack is bought and sold.”

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the decline...

For Thierry Meyssan, the policy of the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union has been a combat between two schools of thought. On one side, the partisans of prosperity, and on the other, the partisans of imperialism. Money or Power. This cleavage exists within each party, Republican and Democrat. However, time flies, and the United States is now on the edge of inner collapse. As of now, Donald Trump finds himself in the uncomfortable position of Mikhaïl Gorbachev.


Over the last sixteen years, the very old problems of US society have developed exponentially. For example, the use of drugs, which until recently concerned mostly the minorities, has become an epidemic for white males [8]. To the point where the struggle against opioids has become a major national cause. Or again, the possession of fire-arms has become an obsession. The cause is not a question of the constitutional right to bear arms in order to protect oneself from eventual abuse by the State, nor the behaviour of cowboys gunning for potential criminals, but the fear of generalised riots. During the most recent Black Friday sales, weapons became the best sellers, overtaking portable phones. 185,000 guns were bought in one day, in 2015 and 2016, and more than 200,000 in 2017 [9]. Finally, as soon as they have the financial possibility, US citizens now group themselves in compounds with people of the same cultural origins [10] and the same social class.

As from now, international relations are dominated by this question – will the United States accept its current position or not. [11]. Today, Donald Trump finds himself in the same uncomfortable position that Mikhaïl Gorbatchev once occupied.

Thierry Meyssan
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The very difference between Gorbachev and Trump is that Gorby was coming from the bottom up while Trump's America is coming down the rungs at a million miles an hour... Taking the middle of the road aka Putin would be best, but because he is demonised in the USA, no-one there in the US understand how their own system works apart from grabbing whatever one can and screw everyone else...  Read from top...

arm up...

Although a seemingly simple concept, the issue of polarization has long frustrated political scientists. A superficial examination of the American political scene suggests an intensely polarized electorate, divided along partisan and ideological lines. Watching cable news, we see competing camps that have few points of agreement, with anger the dominant emotion. Yet a dive into public opinion on questions of policy tells a different story. 

In 2004, Stanford University political science professor Morris Fiorina and his colleagues persuasively argued that Americans are not bitterly divided on the most contentious policy questions, that in fact Americans lack true ideological convictions. Their argument today remains as sound as ever.

The claim that most of us have a coherent bundle of ideological constraints that inform our policy preferences and voting choices has little empirical support. The number of consistent liberals and conservatives in the electorate remains very small. The Bible-thumping, pro-war, free-market purist is a rare creature. So is the gun-grabbing, abortion-loving, socialist atheist. Perfect conservative and liberal stereotypes are hard to find in the real world. 

Especially on economic issues, Americans exhibit a remarkable consensus, for better or for worse. Across the partisan divide, most people endorse a form of welfare capitalism—we just disagree on the minutia of tax policy, regulation, and the strength of the social safety net.


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See also:

Where to Invade Next is a 2015 American documentary film written and directed by Michael Moore.[3][4] The film, in the style of a travelogue, has Moore spending time in countries such as ItalyFranceFinlandTunisiaSloveniaGermany, and Portugal where he experiences those countries' alternative methods of dealing with social and economic ills experienced in the United States.[5]

Moore's first film in six years, Where to Invade Nextopened on December 23, 2015, in the United States and Canada,[6] in a limited run for one week only in a Los Angeles and New York City theater to qualify for the Oscars. It re-opened on February 12, 2016, across 308 screens. The film received generally positive reviews from critics.


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... "generally positive reviews from critics"???  whatever this means!... The problem is no-one busy in Yamerika REALLY understood the doco's messages... especially not the media, the bosses and everyone else — not even the poor who could not stage a lazy Sunday afternoon arm-up, considering they're all in prison already.

business alla americana...

An explosive New York Times report has revealed that manufacturers of the drug OxyContin knew it was highly addictive as early as 1996, the first year after the drug hit the market. The Times published a confidential Justice Department report this week showing that Purdue Pharma executives were told OxyContin was being crushed and snorted for its powerful narcotic, but still promoted it as less addictive than other opioid painkillers. This report is especially damning because Purdue executives have testified before Congress that they were unaware of the drug’s growing abuse until years after it was on the market. Today, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50. While President Trump claimed Tuesday that numbers relating to opioid addiction are “way down,” the latest statistics show there was an increase of opioid-related deaths and overdoses during Trump’s first year in office. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths involving opioids rose to about 46,000 for the 12-month period that ended October 2017, up about 15 percent from October 2016. The epidemic has been so widespread that life expectancy is falling in the United States for the first time in 50 years. We speak with Barry Meier, the reporter who broke this story for the Times, headlined “Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused.” Meier was a reporter at The New York Times for nearly three decades and was the first journalist to shed a national spotlight on the abuse of OxyContin. His book “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic” was published this week in an updated and expanded edition.


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"Origins of the Opioid Epidemic"????    Read from top.

of mind-bending drugs...

Americans have a greater chance of dying from an opioid overdose than in a car accident, according to the newest statistical analysis. Suicide remains the leading cause of death not related to a disease.

The number of deaths resulting from opioid overdose tripled in the last 20 years, reaching over 43,000 in 2017, according to the new report from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit chartered by Congress. By comparison, there were just over 40,000 Americans killed in car crashes in the same year.

According to NSC’s statistical analysis, this translates to a 1 in 93 chance of an American dying from opioid drugs, compared to 1 in 103 from car accidents – for the first time in US history.


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In regard to suicides:


Rebecca Cunningham of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor became acquainted with guns at a tender age: When she was 5 years old, her mother kicked out her violent husband, who had beaten her and threatened to kill her. And she bought a gun. Today, Cunningham, who once watched her mother tuck that pistol in her purse as she headed to the shooting range, is directing the largest gun research grant that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded in at least 30 years. With $4.9 million from NIH's child health institute and a team of 27 researchers at 12 institutions, she is on a mission to jump-start gun injury research on a population as vulnerable as she once was: U.S. children and teenagers, for whom guns are the second-leading cause of death.


In her article, Rebecca Cunningham informs us of deaths for 1-18 year-olds (2006-2016). 41, 216 dies from car accidents and 22,724 died fro gun shots of which 62% were from homicides and 30.8 pere cent died from suicide... 


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the cocaine wars for your wallet...


Evil El Chapo, the Sanctimonious Sackler Family, and American Blood Libel


By Guy Somerset

There is a very good novel by Agatha Christie titled Murder on the Orient Express. Hopefully it gives nothing away for the reader to impart that, as in much of the Christie canon, a death most foul occurs.

Yet the fulcrum in this particular story is not only the means and method but the motive. For as the tale progresses it becomes evident the deceased most certainly had it coming, setting up a contentious moral quandary for the protagonist with dubious consequences for those involved.

Indeed, as with all great literature its themes are a constant even unto our own time.

A Trek Along The Tracks of Treason

Two weeks ago in a Federal Court of the United States an international drug dealer by the name "El Chapo" was convicted of numerous offenses. These verdicts were hailed by the Mass Media and Public Prosecutors as a major victory for law and order.

Yet at the same time a far more nefarious international cohort of apparent criminals walks free with nary a peep from Media or Prosecutors. These assiduously unnamed individuals should be regarded as equally immoral, to say nothing of being far more corrupt. This is the Sackler Family, which has murdered more individuals by willful neglect and intentional disinformation than El Chapo ever dreamed of harming.


As with any tour of villainy, the first necessary step is to assess the adversaries...

Ethnicity and Nationality:

El Chapo -Mexican by Nationality.

The Sacklers - Mostly American by Nationality.

Origin Story:

El Chapo - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was born 1957 (or 1954, official sources do not agree) in La Tuna, Mexico. He stands 5'6" which accounts for his nickname, "Shorty" in Spanish. Given his notoriety it may be surprising to learn Guzman is but semi-literate with no more than a Third Grade formal education.

His timeline, generally speaking, begins in the 1960s planting Marijuana with his brothers. By the 1970s he was running drugs to major Mexican cities as well as the American border. In the 1980s Guzman joined the Guadalajara Cartel, later leading a faction that became the Sinaloa Cartel itself.

Throughout the 1990s El Chapo consolidated power by murdering competitors and subordinates who threatened his control. Guzman evidently led a charmed life, escaping multiple assassination attempts unharmed while even a Mexican Cardinal Archbishop was mistakenly gunned down by his enemies.

In the 2000s America placed a $5 Million bounty on El Chapo. By the late 2010s he was captured and extradited to the United States, later convicted on multiple charges and facing life in prison.

The Sacklers - Three brothers, Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond were the modern representatives of this progeny. (Arthur died in 1987 apparently without a sense of irony stating, "Leave the world a better place than when you entered it.")

All three were children of immigrants from Europe raised in Brooklyn, New York who became physicians, Arthur being the most prominent. He was trained under a Dutch psychoanalyst described as "Freud's favorite disciple." (Which, in itself, ought to tell one a great deal about the "humanity" of this refuse.)

Each worked at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center where they evidently honed their skills at public distortion and national subversion. Arthur eventually purchased a small advertising agency with which he undermined honorable medical ethics and was among the pioneering filth to weaponize marketing in selling unneeded pills and potions. He enlisted prominent physicians to peddle his wares by touting worthless "clinical studies" often underwritten by drug manufacturers themselves.

As example, Sackler placed business cards of physicians in an ad for a drug he was pushing in the 1950s. When a reporter for The Saturday Review became suspicious and went to conduct interviews the sleuth discovered the physicians did not even exist - simply psychological trickery from a worthless huckster.

By the 1960s Arthur was promoting the "Drug Culture" and sought to enmesh students and other youngsters in the scourge. He advertised tranquilizers such as Valium to impressionable college attendees. Later he would encourage physicians to prescribe drugs even to those with no symptoms. An associate of Sackler would later state, "It kind of made junkies...but that drug worked!"

The Sackler Syndicate purchased Purdue Pharma in 1952. Although each of the three brothers would retain one-third ownership, Raymond and Mortimer were co-Directors. (They passed away in 2010 and 2017, respectively.)

In 1995 the Sacklers loosed their product OxyContin upon the world. It is a durable narcotic incredibly addictive and for decades was liberally over-prescribed by physicians globally. The result was misery for the world and $35 Billion in revenues for Purdue Pharma.

The active ingredient is Oxycodone, a powerful substance similar to Heroin and two times as potent as Morphine. Oxycodone itself had been developed in Germany in 1916. It was inexpensive to produce and by 1995 widely available in other products. Purdue Pharma merely refined this substance into a pure form with a time release formula ("Contin" stands for "continuous release").

Rather than act in the public welfare with this dangerous drug, the Sacklers embarked on a full-scale propaganda campaign which, in conjunction with legalized bribery (otherwise known as campaign contributions and physician perks) managed to have guidelines and regulations rewritten in their favor.

The pill was approved that year by the Food and Drug Administration absent any studies by Purdue Pharma on long-term addictive properties. The F.D.A. examiner in charge, Dr. Curtis Wright, soon resigned to take a job with Purdue Pharma itself.


In the interest of full disclosure, this author was one of those bamboozled by the relentless propagation of the late-1990s which studiously reported to lawmakers OxyContin was absolutely non-addictive.

Net Worth:

El Chapo - In the year 2009 Forbes Magazine estimated El Chapo's net worth at approximately $1 Billion dollars. By 2017 estimates had grown to a doubtful $14 Billion. Meanwhile, Bruce M. Bagley at the University of Miami states this is vastly overrated and El Chapo has $2-$4 Billion "at most."

The Sacklers - Although difficult to ascertain given the diffusion of assets by the secretive cabal, according to Forbes Magazine in 2015 the publication stated the Sackler fortune at $14 Billion. The most recent figure was cited as $13 Billion spread among 20 relations. Even so, this sum puts them Billions above both the Rockefeller and Mellon dynasties.


El Chapo - The Kingpin is reported to have been wed three times, most recently in 2007 to Emma Coronel Aispuro. He has had numerous romantic assignations, notably with at least one female Mexican Legislator. His children are reputed to number from twelve to thirteen.

The Sacklers - More than one dozen Second Generation Sacklers infest the globe. Importantly, none of the descendants of Arthur Sackler have any association with Purdue Pharma or OxyContin, their branch of the family having sold the company to the other two. Even so, their fortune rests almost entirely on the malpractice and public abuses of Arthur Sackler evidenced above - such as with Valium and others.

Regarding the most prominent current heirs, a daughter of Arthur serves on the board of the Brooklyn Museum with a Sackler Center for "Feminist Art." Sons of Raymond established a professorship at Yale. (Evidently, these locusts intend to migrate to other illnesses.) Another daughter of Richard supports such entities as the Malala Fund and considers herself a "social entrepreneur."

Criminal Organization:

El Chapo - Importantly, the Sinaloa Cartel is only one of six major drug organizations in Mexico today. Despite this it is purportedly among the most powerful trafficking "billions upon billions" of dollars in Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamines. The Sinaloa Cartel is estimated to control between 40% and 60% of the Mexican Drug Trade, earning around $3 Billion each year.

The Sacklers - Purdue Pharma is a completely family-owned business (much like The Mafia). Today eight members of the Sacklers from three generations sit on its Board of Directors. Even so, the Sackler reach extends into every state of the Union through their network of compromised physician dealers.


El Chapo - Given the secretive nature of the Sinaloa Cartel, it is difficult to accurately provide figures for membership. According to experts in a 2018 Congressional Research Service Report, the total stands at about 150,000 with operations in 52 nations. During an interview with Sean Penn, which later ran in Rolling Stone magazine, Guzman boasted, "I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats."

The Sacklers - Purdue Pharma, entirely family-owned by the Sacklers, has over 5,000 employees worldwide with revenue of $3 Billion every year. Yet this is only a fraction of their fellow-travelers and fifth-columnists. In other countries the nefarious organization operates Mundipharma which has a presence in over 120 nations with 8,600 employees generating another $3.4 Billion annually.


According to the American Medical Association in 2010 there were more than 246,000 primary care physicians in the United States. Likewise, in 2015 there were over 1.1 million doctors of all types in the country. A sizeable proportion have readily recommended OxyContin to patients over the years. They are, in essence, the foot soldiers of the Sackler Army of over-prescription.

During the initial phase of marketing OxyContin, several physicians were given expense-paid trips to exotic locales to hear "information seminars" about the drug. It was later discovered these physicians were generally two times as likely to prescribe the medication to users.

According to The New Yorker in 2017, "American clinicians have issued a quarter of a Billion opioid prescriptions annually" with around one-third being for OxyContin. The same article notes in Ohio, with 2.3 Million residents, one in five had received a prescription for opioids in 2016, the previous year.

Indeed, in 2015 Purdue Pharma received approval from the F.D.A. to market OxyContin to children as young as eleven years old.


Notorious Escapes from the Law:

El Chapo - On June 9, 1993, Guzman was arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico on charges of drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder. He was later sentenced to 20 years in Puente Grande, a maximum security prison. By January 19, 2001, El Chapo had escaped by means of a laundry cart though it is alleged he also employed bribery upwards of $2.5 Million to affect the incident.

On February 22, 2014, Guzman was again detained by law enforcement in Mazatlán, Mexico. Yet by July 11, 2015, El Chapo had once more evaded captors at Altiplano Federal Prison, another supposedly maximum security institution, this time by crawling through a mile-long tunnel crafted by his associates.

As of January 8, 2016, Guzman was taken in by authorities at Los Mochis, Mexico. On January 19, 2017 El Chapo was turned over to the United States where he is still being held.

The Sacklers - In 1959 it emerged a company Arthur Sackler owned, MD Publications, had paid Henry Welch, Chief of the Antibiotics Division of the Food and Drug Administration, almost $300,000 to secure his assistance in promoting certain products. (Welch was not indicted for Fraud and Sackler was not executed for Treason.)

By 2002 ordinary citizens and relatives of deceased users began to organize against Purdue Pharma. During one such seminar Purdue Pharma Communication Specialist Robin Hogen allegedly confronted bereaved relations and supposedly threatened news reporters, "We'll be watching them." (Hogen was not arrested for Intimidation or Making Terroristic Threats.)

Eventually in 2003 the Drug Enforcement Administration concluded Purdue engaged "aggressive methods" and "very much exacerbated OxyContin's abuse." (Even so, the Sacklers were not arrested for Intentional Malpractice or Mass Murder.)

In innumerable cases physicians running "pill mills" providing tens of thousands of over-prescriptions have been indicted by authorities. One such example is Dr. Richard Paolino in Pennsylvania who was sentenced to the minimum thirty years in prison for liberally providing Sackler Family drugs. (Yet, the Sackler Scum themselves have faced no charges at all, let alone years in confinement.)

Purdue Pharma has settled some Class Action lawsuits for monetary damages, one set at $75 Million, a sum far less than the Billions generated for the Sackler Syndicate. Company Executives have been criminally prosecuted for "misbranding" the drug and received the comparatively light punishment of Probation and $35 Million in fines while Purdue Pharma agreed to another $600 Million in fines.


El Chapo - One of the reasons El Chapo has been notoriously difficult to capture is the protection by his community, partly stemming from his largesse to the extreme impoverished of Sinaloa. Guzman purportedly paved roads in rural areas, built schools and offered protection from other drug cartels.

When arrested in 2014 hundreds protested his detention. He has been feted with numerous "Narcocorridos" which are "Drug Ballads" somewhat similar to Medieval Troubadour songs about the heroism and bravery of knights. 

The Sacklers - The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a Sackler Wing which was bestowed in 1978. Likewise, contributions to alieve themselves of their shame have been made to Harvard University, the Louvre in Paris, Oxford in Britain and dozens of other educational institutions.

Moreover, there is a Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum. Recently, protestors occupied the space at the latter and distributed flyers with the names of tens of thousands of those whom the Sacklers have wantonly killed with their prescription death.

Repercussions for Extrication:

El Chapo - None. El Chapo was a businessman who sold drugs to those choosing to take them recreationally. Absolutely every person who used his Heroin was well aware of the dangers to their body and health. To the extent a user "got clean," went into Rehab or otherwise kicked their habit El Chapo had no more use for them. Once his customers discontinued his product they were left in peace.

The Sacklers - No respite. The Sacklers knowingly propagandized the public with the assistance of the government to misinform and maliciously deceive the citizenry their narcotics were not addictive or habit-forming. They did this with the complicity of tens of thousands of physicians who received "kickbacks" and other perks in the form of vacations, luxury dinners or other inducements.

To the degree users were able to detoxify themselves from the vile product of the Sackler vermin they were still not free of the clawing grip of their inhuman tormentors. The degenerate Sackler Family patented those very pharmaceuticals used in the weening of addicted patients off the very Sackler-produced OxyContin itself.

Rather than remorse for their Blood Libel against the American nation, the Sacklers did not make the cure for their poison readily available free of charge to those whose lives they willingly destroyed but instead designed to make another fortune by withholding the antidote for the vast suffering masses they themselves had so ruthlessly abused.

Death Toll:

El Chapo - According to Time magazine in 2015 El Chapo was directly responsible for around 34,000 deaths. El Chapo himself claims a far lower total of "two or three thousand." Even so, the Sinaloa Cartel of which El Chapo was the leader has a record of extreme violence and brutality.

To the extent it is possible to ascertain, the organization may be credited with up to 50,000 of the roughly 250,000 deaths or disappearances in Mexico since 2006 though of necessity these are only estimates. Given these generalities, it is plausible that over the course of twenty years El Chapo may himself account for under 5,000 deaths while his larger group may be responsible for 50,000 in total.

The Sacklers - Drug overdoses in 1999 alone were 16,849 while by 2017 they had reached 70,200 annually. Since 1999 over 200,000 Americans have died from overdoses related to OxyContin and prescribed opiates. This does not take into account the millions who have been addicted to prescription drugs by the Sacklers and when their health insurance has run out been forced to resort to using illegal street substances such as Heroin, which is far cheaper.

According to the American Society for Addition, four out of five who try Heroin do so after having been hooked on prescriptions. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborate, as quoted in The New Yorker article above, Purdue Pharma bears "the lion's share" for the global crisis.

Thus in a very real sense the market for the illegal drugs of El Chapo was generated by The Sacklers.

Proposals for Justice:

El Chapo - The "Drug Lord" has been found guilty of numerous charges and will likely serve the remainder of his life in a maximum security prison in the United States of America.

The Sacklers - The "Kings of Opiates" have never been prosecuted and it is unlikely they will ever be so. To the extent possible a legally recognized court should be duly empaneled to hear the cases of these degenerates and upon lawful conviction each and every one charged from men, women and children of mature age ought to be publicly punished for their crimes in the most extreme fashion.

All Roads Lead to Railroading

Needless to say, The Sacklers will never be rebuked for their actions. They are Billionaires and their millions of victims are poor or middle-class at best. Given the realities of the governmental system of the United States there is no chance whatsoever the laws will be changed to hold the guilty to account.

Yet, if this be the spirit of the Law then it is the duty of American citizens to act within the letter of the Law themselves. To wit, until the Sackler Scum are judged by the courts then no one else should be punished either.

There is no drug dealer, no drug pusher, no drug distributer, no drug user who has maimed or harmed or killed near so many as The Sacklers by even a magnitude of deaths.

That being the case any person empaneled on a Jury should use their Constitutional Right to Jury Nullification and refuse under any circumstances to convict any suspect for any drug charge. In many if not most courtrooms it only takes a single Juror to refuse to vote for conviction for a Mistrial to result.

By drawing a line and refusing to imprison even the most obviously guilty until the most notoriously culpable are prosecuted a message may be sent about what level of corruption citizens will tolerate.

Perhaps when hundreds or thousands of cases are thrown into disarray to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars some Prosecutor or Attorney General with integrity (a doubtful proposition itself) will find the gumption to act in the interest of his constituents rather than at the command of his mega-donors.

No more low-level, impoverished, ignorant suspects with few if any recourse can be railroaded into prison while the Sackler Filth walks free with impunity concerning their American Blood Libel.

This should be done in every condition in every case in every courtroom throughout the land until the Sacklers - each and every one - have been brought to trial for their far more pervasive and vastly greater detrimental crimes against the citizenry of the United States and residents of this Earth.

In other words, no one goes to jail until the worst of the worst go to jail - Herein Lies The Path To Justice.


Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.



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2017 — over 70,000 people died of overdoses in the US...

The crisis has become worse and worse in recent years and -- following the initial surge in prescriptions and the secondary diversion to heroin -- experts are now warning of a third wave: The market is now dominated by the highly potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. A tragic record was set in 2017, with over 70,000 people dying of overdoses in the U.S., outstripping fatalities from car accidents or gunshot wounds. Roughly 2.1 million Americans are addicted to opioids, and millions of children are growing up in broken homes. And because the government has failed to effectively combat the problem, private initiatives like the O'Learys' home have become vital.

"How can we love people in our community best?" That's the question that they asked themselves at the start of their adventure, says Lydia O'Leary in her house in Salem as she pulls a loaf of banana bread out of the oven for her guests. She and her 42-year-old husband, Jim, who works as a plumber, dedicate their time and money almost exclusively to combating the opioid crisis in their neighborhood.


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the drug company helped create the opioid epidemic in the state.

In a court hearing Monday in Oklahoma, Judge Thad Balkman found Johnson & Johnson liable in a lawsuit claiming that the drug company helped create the opioid epidemic in the state.

Balkman said that Johnson & Johnson must pay $572 million to help ease the opioid epidemic.

“The state met its burden that the defendants Janssen and Johnson & Johnson’s misleading marketing and promotion of opioids created a nuisance as defined by [the law], including a finding that those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans," Balkman said during his ruling, which comes after a seven-week trial which started on May 28.

According to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, Johnson & Johnson, pushing opioids Duragesic and Nucynta, heavily marketed the drugs to doctors and understated the risks associated with the painkillers since the early 1990s. The state of Oklahoma was seeking more than $17 billion from Johnson & Johnson, CNBC reported. State officials noted during the proceedings that Oklahoma's opioid crisis would cost the state between $12.7 and $17.5 billion.

The American multinational pharmaceutical and medical devices company revealed Monday in court that it plans to appeal Balkman's ruling in the case.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the opioid crisis claimed more than 400,000 lives in the US between 1999 and 2017. Around 68% of the drug overdose deaths in the US in 2017 were caused by an opioid, the CDC reports.

Two drug companies, Purdue Pharma, which invented the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin in 1996, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, both settled with the state before the Johnson & Johnson trial began. Purdue Pharma agreed to a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma in March, while Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million with the state in June. Neither company admitted any wrongdoing. 

Americans are more likely to die from opioid overdoses than from vehicle crashes for the first time ever, according to 2017 data from the nonprofit National Safety Council, which promotes health and safety in the US.

report released in January by the NSC found that opioid overdoses are currently the fifth most likely cause of death, with the odds of dying from overdose being 1 in 96. By comparison, the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are 1 in 103, the sixth most likely cause of death.



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at least $10 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma and its owners have offered authorities a proposal worth at least $10 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits related to the opioid crisis, media reported.

Purdue Pharma has been hit with thousands of lawsuits for its role in the opioid addiction crisis that has led to record level overdoes throughout the United States dating back to the late 1990s.

According to the US National Health Institute, Purdue Pharma falsely claimed in advertisements and in statements to federal regulators that the company’s main product, an opioid painkiller known as OxyContin, was not addictive.

The potential deal was part of confidential talks with Purdue's lawyers at a meeting in Cleveland on 20 August, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

At least ten US state attorneys general and the plaintiffs’ attorneys were gathered at the meeting where David Sackler represented the Sackler family, the owner of Purdue Pharma, the report added.

The drugmaker did not confirm the proposed settlement terms but in a statement said it was working with the states attorneys general and plaintiffs to resolve the matter, according to the report.


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1,478,236 doses of powerful opioids to 6,000 people!...



Over the course of seven years, from 2006 to 2012, two pharmacies in rural northeast Louisiana, owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, Clinic Pharmacy of Mangham and Adams Clinic Pharmacy of Winnsboro, doled out 1,478,236 doses of powerful opioids, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration database recently published by the Washington Post. 

The pharmacies are 12.5 miles away from one another, and the two communities have a combined population of approximately 6,000 people. Despite the surge in opioid prescriptions, the region’s population has actually decreased during the previous twenty years. 

Abraham has been openly enthusiastic about his support for opioid treatments, once suggesting that the drugs are far less dangerous and much more effective than medical marijuana. Five years ago, during an October 2014 debate for Congress, Abraham claimed he did not support “the legalization of marijuana on any level.” 

“Again, as a physician, let me tell you. What I see in my practice, from any level of marijuana use, is bad,” Abraham stated. “I’m against recreational, I’m against medical. In the medical profession, for these chronic pain, poor cancer patients that need help, we have other alternatives that work better, Dilaudid, OxyContin, you name it, Oxycodone, we have several options that do a much better job for chronic pain. 

“I’ve had hundreds of patients unfortunately with cancer that I’ve treated, they do well with these drugs,” he continued. 

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, opioid overdoses surged an astonishing 14% in 2014, which was largely a consequence of physicians overprescribing the drugs. Abraham’s home parish of Richland is one of the least populated in the state, ranking 46th of 64, yet according to the most recent estimate, it ranks as the 8th worst in opioid prescriptions. As of 2017, for every 100 people in Richland, there were an astonishing 113 opioid prescriptions.



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get the e-book...

Zanele Nomsa, the author of this book is in jail in Hong Kong until 2026.


She was recruited as a drug-mule from Soweto, South Africa and arrested for trafficking cocaine into Hong Kong in 2016.

Zanele has three children in SA in care of relatives. 

When I was volunteering as a prison-visitor in HK,  Zanele asked me to help her write her story.

She posted me 25,000 words, snail-mail over three years and this is the finished product.

Only 100 paperbacks were printed most of which went to high schools in various countries including SAfrica and Philippines.


Zanele's story seems to appeal to teenagers;   maybe you can promote free eBook among your acquaintances?


This eBook is available for no charge until Saturday.



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pain, pills, "prison", profits, pharma...


From AD166 to around AD180, repeated outbreaks occurred throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions being devastated, and entire towns and villages being depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was particularly badly affected, carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book, known as The Meditations, which records the moral and psychological advice he gave himself at this time. He frequently applies Stoic philosophy to the challenges of coping with pain, illness, anxiety and loss. It’s no stretch of the imagination to view The Meditations as a manual for developing precisely the mental resilience skills required to cope with a pandemic.

First of all, because Stoics believe that our true good resides in our own character and actions, they would frequently remind themselves to distinguish between what’s “up to us” and what isn’t. Modern Stoics tend to call this “the dichotomy of control” and many people find this distinction alone helpful in alleviating stress. What happens to me is never directly under my control, never completely up to me, but my own thoughts and actions are – at least the voluntary ones. The pandemic isn’t really under my control but the way I behave in response to it is.


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Okay, now that we've sorted out the stiff upper lip in the face of danger, comes a modern alternative: 


Pain, pills, "prison", profits, Pharma... You work it out for yourself. "Prison" is self-isolation in the context of the coronavirus. Big Pharma likes sheep and poltroons. It does not like stoic people, especially those who survive, unlike Marcus...


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the war on consciousness modifiers...


The United States has not won a single war since the defeat of Japan (which, incidentally, was defeated with the active support of Russia). Moreover, the US was beaten by Third World armies in Korea and Vietnam, and in the 21st century, when it invaded Afghanistan, almost 20 years later it was also defeated by lightly armed Taliban units. Armed invasion of Iraq resulted in yet another defeat.

Spending trillions of dollars on useless and unwinnable wars, the White House does not notice how the standard of living in the United States is steadily declining, the degradation of social policy in the country is occurring, health care has been completely neglected, and hence the catastrophic losses of population from the pandemic coronavirus, which have already surpassed the US losses in World War II.

The American wars and war crimes that have occurred at the hands of Washington’s rulers in recent years have wreaked havoc and violence everywhere, and this historic combination of lawlessness and failure has, as might be expected, undermined America’s international power and credibility. Meanwhile, inside the empire, at the very heart of it, social media spin doctors have divided Americans and captured their minds and souls, more successfully than the ideologues of communism and religious radicalism for which Washington, like McCarthyism, has for years proclaimed itself intolerant.

As the American media rightly and accurately point out, communist China lifted 800 million people out of poverty in just ten years while the poverty rate in America has hardly changed in half a century; child poverty has even increased. Today America still has the weakest social safety net compared to any developed country, no universal health care system, and income inequality has left half the US population without a livelihood or the “American Dream”.

Under these circumstances, Americans’ dissatisfaction with White House policy is understandable and justified, regardless of which party comes to power: whether it is the Republican Trump administration or the Democratic Biden one. And Trump’s slogan “Let’s make America great again,” or Biden’s promise to “restore American leadership” remain just the slogans of the elites who got to power in the country.

But what about the people? What are the authorities doing for them?

It is well known that alcohol and drugs are the last refuge for those afflicted forget their problems and worries, so these are becoming the tools increasingly used by the US authorities in recent times to manage American society. To create an outwardly benign picture, a campaign was launched to supposedly fight drug addiction. However, amid the national epidemic of abuse of painkillers and psychotropic drugs in the United States, the disappointing results of the 50-year war on drugs in that country are becoming increasingly clear. Legalization of marijuana in an increasing number of states has led, according to numerous American experts, to the promotion by representatives of political and business circles of the United States of a new “gold rush”, capable by the growth of marijuana sales not only to destroy their own population in a drug smoke, but also other nations, where Washington is actively promoting methods of “democracy in the American way” and its new “business”.

The sales of marijuana have long been the fastest-growing industry in the United States. According to ArcView Market Research’s study of the legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets in the US and Canada, residents of the two countries have begun spending more than $50 billion annually on cannabis. In the era of legalized marijuana, crime rates in the country have jumped by tens of percents. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 6 million Americans, or 2.5 percent of US adults, have suffered ill health as a result of marijuana use. In Missouri, the number of children born with an opioid addiction has increased by 538% in a decade, according to US media reports. Increasingly, young Californians are seeking emergency medical treatment for heavy drug abuse.

The years-long opioid addiction crisis in the US escalated dramatically during the COVID-19 epidemic, when drug overdose deaths increased by 18%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s December 2020 report, the dramatically increased number of drug overdose deaths is “the highest number of deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.”

The legalization of drugs, which is sweeping more and more states, has led to professional sports leagues (such as NFL) easing the threshold for marijuana testing among players, a drug scandal erupting at a US Air Force base where nuclear weapons are stationed, a generation of addicted, manipulated, including drug-infused, young people growing up. In the future, the flow of money from the official drug industry will have a powerful effect on election campaigns in the United States, giving serious leverage over society to unscrupulous politicians.

However, despite all these circumstances, on February 1 a law went into effect in the US state of Oregon that partially allowed hard drugs (an initiative known as “Measure 110″). In addition to Oregon, a number of US states have taken steps toward significant loosening of drug policy: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Mississippi. Although federal laws prohibit marijuana, 36 states allow its use for medical purposes and another 15 allow recreational use. On December 4, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to legalize marijuana nationwide.

Among the defenders of the idea of legalizing soft drugs are the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, the Drug Policy Alliance, Amnesty International, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, several congressmen (Republican and Democrat), well-known representatives of show business, and countless local and national human rights organizations and unions. Nor should we forget the direct economic benefits of the marijuana trade, for example: in fiscal year 2020, marijuana tax revenues to Oregon’s coffers increased by 30 percent over the previous year, to $133 million.

In defense of Measure 110, its supporters make their arguments, including that harsh penalties for drug addicts do not guarantee a deterrent effect, that decriminalization of drug trafficking saves taxpayers money significantly, and mitigates the considerable racial and ethnic differences associated with drug law enforcement. The latter argument is used especially heavily, citing national statistics which note that it is blacks and Americans of color who are more likely to be searched and arrested for drug offenses, which often result in long prison sentences.

In any case, all of this, according to many observers, even in the United States itself, suggests that the US has lost another war — a nationwide “war on drugs” declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon, who rightly claimed that drugs are “public enemy number one.



Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.



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blockbuster opioid crisis...

 Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty


by Patrick Radden Keefe


A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of Say Nothing
The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis. 

      Empire of Pain begins with the story of three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and the incalculably energetic Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism. Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur saw a better way and conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments. He also had a genius for marketing, especially for pharmaceuticals, and bought a small ad firm.

      Arthur devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. He purchased a drug manufacturer, Purdue Frederick, which would be run by Raymond and Mortimer. The brothers began collecting art, and wives, and grand residences in exotic locales. Their children and grandchildren grew up in luxury.

      Forty years later, Raymond’s son Richard ran the family-owned Purdue. The template Arthur Sackler created to sell Valium—co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug’s addictiveness—was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. The drug went on to generate some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue, and to launch a public health crisis in which hundreds of thousands would die. 

      This is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.  Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama—baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful.

      Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling. It is a portrait of the excesses of America’s second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed and indifference to human suffering that built one of the world’s great fortunes.



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business is business...


When the Taliban took over Afghanistan after their "defeat of the Soviets", destroyed statues, placed women back in their place, it banned growing poppies for opium. The Taliban believed that it was a crime against Islam to grow such crop. The growing of poppies dwindled to basically none...


When the American invaded Afghanistan in their search for Bin Laden (murdered 10 years ago by the Obama administration without due process of justice) poppy growing in Afghanistan became popular again and quite lucrative for the local farmers. By 2009, when the article below written for Stripes, the US military magazine, the US realised they had to do "something". That something was soon equivalent to "nothing", because in many respect the climate and the soil of that country makes it difficult, say, to grow wheat and wheat is not a profitable crop anyway.


As the US and NATO forces are retreating in 2021. the growing of poppies has never been so lucrative and prosperous. Some loonies, armed with evidence, even suspect that the US troops facilitated the crops. Meanwhile these loonies suspect it is likely that the mercenaries, the "private contractors" working for the US army could be making a lot of cash by taking a cut from the "poppy profits". We need to realise that the "private contractors" (army) are staying in Afghanistan... 




Afghans step up effort to destroy opium fields



HUTAL, Afghanistan — At the end of a recent patrol in the nearby village of Mowshaq, soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment were headed back to their trucks when they passed an Afghan man and two boys drying mud bricks in the sun.

The soldiers were nearing the farmer’s poppy field, when suddenly the man called out to them. The patrol’s leader, 2nd Lt. Jason Schlachter, asked his translator what the man said.

"He says, ‘Don’t walk through my poppy fields,’ " said the translator. The soldiers did anyway. It was the shortest way to get back to their trucks.

The man did not protest. But the importance that Afghan farmers place on their opium fields cannot be underestimated. Although growing poppy is illegal, it’s how most people in rural southern Afghanistan, including here in Maiwand district, about 45 miles north of Kandahar, make a living.

The farmer’s warning to the soldiers could be interpreted as a warning to anyone who tries to interfere with Afghanistan’s biggest cash crop. Now U.S. troops in Maiwand could be facing their biggest security challenge yet because of the drug.

Haji Noor Muhammad Akhund, the government-appointed leader for Maiwand, informed U.S. military officers Friday that he’s been directed to eradicate one-quarter of the district’s poppy fields this year.

"I talked to the governor yesterday," said Akhund, also known as Mullah Masood, during a meeting with officers from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, which oversees security for the area. "He said to destroy the poppies in Maiwand district."

According to Akhund, the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued the directive to Tooryalai Wesa, the Kandahar governor, and other provincial leaders last week.

Much about the plan remains unclear. Akhund said he would meet with tribal elders from around Maiwand in the coming days to persuade them to cooperate.

"I think they will accept this," he said. "The government doesn’t want to destroy all of the areas."

Lt. Col. Dan Hurlbut, commander of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, said the policy of U.S. and NATO troops is to support whatever plan of action regarding poppy crops that the government of Afghanistan and the provincial government decide upon. But the provincial government has not fully articulated one until now, Hurlbut said.

Still, he cautioned that any eradication effort would probably take weeks to implement, since further coordination must occur between Afghan government officials and NATO military authorities.


"Whatever we do has to be the same across the province," Hurlbut said. He suggested that if eradication went forward, U.S. troops would provide outer security for Afghan forces that would actually handle destruction of the fields.

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, the base ingredient for heroin. The United Nations estimates the drug is worth $3 billion a year to the Afghan economy. The Taliban is believed to skim at least $100 million off the trade, most by taxing production and transport.

No one knows for sure how much opium is under cultivation in Maiwand. But there are dozens of villages spread across the district, and immense poppy fields dot the landscape. Many of the bulbs have already flowered into vibrant shades of white, pink and purple, signaling that the crop is just about ready to harvest.

Local villagers in Maiwand have told U.S. troops that they expect to start the monthlong harvest in about two to three weeks.

Some officers have expressed unease and skepticism about plans to eradicate the crop.

"Maiwand is not ready for eradication," said Capt. Trevor Voelkel, commander of the battalion’s Company C, whose troops oversee security in the center of the district. "We don’t have anything else to help the farmers with in terms of providing alternatives."

"We want to stop opium and substitute other crops," he said. "But there are still a lot of systems that need to be set up in place first."

Maj. Chris Brooke, the police mentor team chief for Maiwand district, said that without viable alternatives eradication efforts would likely provoke a backlash among local villagers.

"If you take away their opium, it gives them no choice but to turn to the Taliban," he said.

Both Voelkel and Brooke were interviewed before the eradication plan was an nounced Friday.

Akhund said that the provincial government had promised 120 tons of wheat seed as a substitute for poppy. But how that will alleviate the loss of income from this year’s crop or possible hunger in the coming months is also unclear.

Skepticism over eradication has been voiced by U.S. policymakers at the highest levels. The United States spends about $800 million a year to eliminate opium and other drugs in Afghanistan, an effort which Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, described recently as "the most wasteful and ineffective program I have seen in 40 years."


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drug, death and ...

Drug addicts are commonly seen as marginalized people with a tourniquet around their arm who get hooked on drugs because of social and economic dislocation, personal problems, and an inability to fulfil themselves. But today, America is also suffering from a massive opioid crisis, which has already been declared an “emergency situation” by the authorities.

As a result of the failed policies of the current US authorities, focused solely on spinning the profit flywheel of the country’s military and industrial circles and neglecting the social problems of people, the country is facing one of the worst drug crises in its history. And this is evidenced by the highest annual drug overdose death rate in the US, CNN reports, citing data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, overdose deaths have increased by 28.5% over the previous year and have almost doubled in the past five years. In the last year alone, more than 100,000 US residents died from this cause. The biggest increase in overdose deaths, according to US media reports, has been in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Opioids continue to be cited as the leading cause of drug-related deaths. The opioid crisis in the US, which can be considered one of the two most important health issues in the world along with health insurance reform, dates back to the 1990s, but there is no coherent strategy to address the situation. At the time, doctors in the US were faced with a growing number of patient complaints about chronic pain, which the pharmaceutical companies almost immediately took advantage of. They began to “promote” opioid-based drugs in any way they could, and to convince doctors that it was safe to prescribe this type of drug and that it was highly efficient. Health workers at the time were overwrought with the large number of patients with chronic pain of various origins, including fears due to social dislocation, so they heeded the call of corporations and began prescribing such medicines to patients in order to relieve people’s suffering more quickly and easily. Thus, prescription opioid medicines are widely available throughout the United States.

Meanwhile, STAT, a profile publication, estimates that if no action is taken over the next ten years, some 500,000 people could die of opioid overdoses in the United States. For comparison, about the same number have died in the country from HIV/AIDS since 1980 to date.

In recent years, people have increasingly turned to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) claims is “primarily responsible for fueling the ongoing opioid crisis.” Synthetic opioids, and especially fentanyl, have caused 64% of all overdose deaths in the past 12 months. Some law enforcement officials have called the drug “manufactured death” since it is cheaper and fifty times more efficient than heroin.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, more than 1,300 people die every week in the US from opioid-related overdoses, a number that has risen across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has reached such a scale that it is now a brake on the economy and a threat to national security. Opioid overdose deaths have risen more than sixfold since 1999, killing more than 60,000 people each year, seven times the number of US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (the CDC estimates that it has already increased to 69,710 deaths from opioid overdoses in 2020).

Opioid drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, are commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain. In the last fifteen years, doctors have increasingly prescribed them for chronic conditions such as back or joint pain, despite risks regarding their safety and efficiency. According to New York’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, the opioid epidemic did not start until there was a huge surplus of opioids in the form of pharmaceuticals.

Many health experts attribute the high number of deaths to what they say has been an over-prescription of these drugs by doctors. Doctors have started prescribing more opioids because pharmaceutical companies have become more aggressive in marketing the drugs, claiming they carry little risk. As a result, the pharmaceutical companies have hooked the whole country on powerful painkillers. US authorities estimate that the consequences of aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies leading to uncontrolled opioid use will cost the state $12.7-17.5bn.

In order to stem the tide of over-prescribing of opioids by doctors, such doctors are periodically jailed in America today. One recent case is the life sentence for Stephen Hanson in Kansas, who prescribed without medical justification. Doctors of Courage, an organization that defends the right of doctors to decide for themselves whether there is a reason to relieve people of pain, has tried unsuccessfully to stand up for him. The movement’s website lists 1,199 names of doctors who have already been sentenced to various terms.

While doctors are going to jail, opioid manufacturers (notably Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin) are getting away with paying out millions in lawsuits while taking billions in profits from the sale of such drugs. In July 2019, the US Drug Enforcement Administration released a database showing that 76 billion prescription painkillers have been sold in the US over six years. This is enough to provide pills for every adult and child in the country for 36 years to come. Across the country, multi-billion dollar lawsuits are being filed against pharmaceutical companies. US analysts compare the current lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies to litigation in the tobacco industry in the 1990s (back then Philip Morris and other major players paid a whopping $206bn at the time for the consequences of tobacco smoking).

It is no surprise that the super-profit US pharmaceutical market does not want this history to reoccur, as there are already more than two thousand complaints worth tens of billions of dollars. Pharmaceutical companies want peace and several US drug distributors — Johnson & Johnson (J&J), McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health — are already negotiating an $18bn payout in exchange for withdrawal of the lawsuit, which, under US law, would allow the companies to effectively avoid being found guilty of the “opioid crisis”. Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker, will pay $85mln to the state of Oklahoma for stopping prosecutions over allegations that together with other painkiller makers it was driving an opioid epidemic. Similar charges await Teva in Cleveland.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will pay settlements to the Native Americans over seven years, and about 15% of the total amount will go towards legal fees and other legal costs, but the bulk will go towardsdrug treatment and prevention programs.

Meanwhile, according to the US Senate, the pharmaceutical lobby continues to thrive as virtually one of the most powerful in the country. In 2018 alone, pharmaceutical lobbyists spent $277mln: more than the military.



Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.








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addicted aussies......

Cocaine nation


The volatile lives behind Australia’s booming cocaine trade.

By Mahmood FazalAmos Roberts and Dylan Welch



Jason is a trafficker operating at the highest levels of organised crime. He deals kilos of cocaine a week. He’s never been caught.

The high-grade cocaine sitting next to him could be sold on the streets for up to $600 per gram — six times what he paid for it wholesale.

He’s in a lucrative market. Australians are the highest per capita users of cocaine in the world – 4.2 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over used cocaine in 2019 – and as an island nation, pay some of the highest prices globally.


We’re in the middle of an unprecedented cocaine boom. In just the four months between November and February, authorities seized almost 7.5 tonnes of cocaine destined for our streets.

That’s 3 tonnes more than the previous annual record for cocaine seizures in Australia.

To understand how this shadow economy works, Four Corners met with people across the cocaine supply chain, from street dealers all the way to the highest-level operators like Jason. They reveal a world of big money and big risk, power and paranoia.

Verifying what they say is hard, but what they describe stacks up with the public record and what people in the underworld have told the ABC.

For some, this is breaking a code of silence in an industry regulated by violence.

The street dealer

In Australia, the dealers selling to consumers are generally operating at the bottom of the supply chain.

One of these street dealers agrees to meet at an apartment complex in west Melbourne. He comes to the door wearing a mask and never removes it.

“This is just one of my three stash houses,” the dealer says. “We’re just waiting for my main supplier to come and drop off what I need.”







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