If it sometimes feels like the entire country’s on drugs — legal or illegal — you might be on to something. Obviously, not every single person is on some form of drug, but the sheer amount of pills that are needlessly passed out like they’re candy has reached epidemic levels, depending on who you ask. That’s why it’s great to report that a giant illegal opioid operation was taken down, according to an announcement by the Justice Department on Wednesday.
According to the Washington Post (WaPo):
Dozens of medical professionals in five states were charged Wednesday with participating in the illegal prescribing of more than 32 million pain pills, including doctors who prosecutors said traded sex for prescriptions and a dentist who unnecessarily pulled teeth from patients to justify giving them opioids.
The 60 people indicted include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals. The charges involve more than 350,000 illegal prescriptions written in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia, according to indictments unsealed in federal court in Cincinnati.
Think about that. Thirty-two MILLION prescription-type pills illegally passed out to people.
“That is the equivalent of one opioid dose for every man, woman and child in the five states in the region that we’ve been targeting,” assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Brian Benczkowski, told WaPo.
Money, sex and drugs seems to be the three ingredients in this horrible situation that has reportedly seen one of the doctors involved “charged in connection with a death caused by the opioids,” as reported by the Daily Mail.
Opioid abuse has become a major issue in the last few years as more and more doctors prescribe medication that a lot of patients simply don’t need, which in turn harms the people who legitimately need some of these prescription medications in order to function on a daily basis.
In an interview on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in February, TV host and clinical psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw noted how most people, in his opinion, “don’t need most of the medications they’re on.”
“After 45 years in this experience, I see people that are on medication. They’ve usually seen someone for six or eight minutes and said, ‘You know, I’m really feeling kind of down,” McGraw said before pantomiming a doctor willy-nilly writing a prescription. “‘Here’s some Prozac. Here’s this, here’s that.’ They give it to ‘em and they don’t even really ask, ‘why?’ And they just give it to them because medicine has become a high-volume business.”
Hopefully, the arrest of these irresponsible “medical professionals” make some kind of dent in the opioid crisis.
If you’d like to see the exchange about opioids between McGraw and Rogan, watch below: