By Beth Macy
Image of the cover of Dopesick by Beth Macy. Wesley Donehue's book reviews and recommendations.

I’m in a lot of pain today.

I pulled an upper back muscle while doing bent over dumbbell lateral raises. The pain is resonating across my back and around to the front of my chest through my rib cage.

It hurts to sit, stand and lie down. I am having a hard time focusing or getting any real work done. Training is impossible. I’m miserable.
I can understand, especially today, why both my parents went to doctors for their severe back pain. Back pain is debilitating.

What I don’t understand is how addictive pills used to alleviate pain were approved by the federal government. I don’t understand how the medical community overwhelming declared them safe. I don’t understand how criticism was so soundly silenced.

Except I do understand. Because the same exact thing is happening right now.

Let’s be clear. Opioids were deemed safe by the federal government. Government employees were bribed with jobs. Critics were ostracized.

Now my parents are dead. Mom died directly of the pills. Dad moved onto harder stuff.

All for money.

So when I’m criticizing the pharmaceutical industry don’t come at me with some right wing conspiracy theory label. I’ve been saying these things for fifteen years. As one of my mentors once told me “you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.”

You need to read Dopesick. It’s necessary right now. Or go watch the television adaptation on Hulu. Do that and you’ll know exactly why I despise the pharmaceutical industry.

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