Health & Wellness / Politics

Busted: Origins of America’s Opioid Epidemic Revealed

opioid-pills-abuse“People are dying. They’re dying,” DEA whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi repeatedly stated in a recent interview with 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker.

The former high-ranking agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently revealed on the CBS program that America’s opioid epidemic has been fueled not only by the pharmaceutical industry, but by Congress.

Whistleblower and ex-DEA senior executive agent Joe Rannazzisi reported that during his time in the agency, he worked hard to uphold the law, but was pushed out by members of Congress and an industry campaign that he says has resulted in a weakening of the nation’s drug laws at a time of “unprecedented crisis”.

“America’s largest drug distributors and some of the nation’s most senior politicians colluded to fuel the country’s opioid epidemic, leading directly to thousands of unnecessary deaths”, Rannazzisi explained, adding, “This is an industry that’s out of control. If they don’t follow the law in drug supply, and diversion occurs, people die. That’s just it, people die.”

Rannazzisi is now advising lawyers suing the opioid industry.

To make matters more difficult, a law signed by former president Barack Obama last year has made it even more challenging for the DEA to crack down on the illegal distribution and sale of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

The law in question, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, was championed by Republican congressman Tom Marino and—according to Rannazzisi’s interview—largely written by D. Linden Barber, a former DEA lawyer who went on to work for the drug companies.

The law was supposed to aid enforcement by improving ties with industry. However, it made a crucial change to the standard required for the DEA to freeze drug shipments that it suspected were finding their way to addicts in opioid-ravaged communities. For four decades, the DEA could freeze shipments that posed an “imminent danger,” but the law changed that to “a substantial likelihood of an immediate threat.”

Rannazzisi says the law places an impossible burden of proof on the DEA, Rannazzisi concluded, “There’s no way that we could meet that burden.

According to the US. Senate Lobbying Act database, more than $106 million was given to support the bill’s passage, led by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America, who spent $40.8 million, followed by CVS Health, who gave $32.8 million. The data base shows that big pharma spent more than $740 million collectively, in state and federal lobbying efforts over the last decade.

In a recent study published in the Marquette Law Review, DEA Chief Administrative Judges John J. Mulrooney II and Katherine E. Legel conclude, “If it had been the intent of Congress to completely eliminate the DEA’s ability to ever impose an immediate suspension on distributors or manufacturers, it would be difficult to conceive of a more effective vehicle for achieving that goal.”

DEA officials have spoken out after the interview’s airing, claiming that the agency is doing everything it can to fight the opioid epidemic. “During the past seven years, we have removed approximately 900 registrations annually, preventing reckless doctors and rogue businesses from making an already troubling problem worse,” a DEA spokesperson said in a recent statement. CBS also reported that the Justice Department did not dispute any of the 60 Minutes interview.

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Tom Wilde
2 years ago

So, we have a government that materially aids in the spread of addicting street drugs. The same government that has armed drug cartels and terrorist organizations and nations. The same government that has opened up the borders and brought in millions of illegal foreign invaders. The same government that has grossly ill-educated the young. The same government that has ruthlessly attacked those who believe in the Bible and instead promoted Islam. The same government that has aided in the formation of Muslims Only enclaves. The same government that champions perversion and ruins Christian bakers. The same government that has worked… Read more »

2 years ago

Of coarse I’ve got a somewhat different view of drug abuse then the so called experts in the field. And again, I dont want to alienate my friends on this site. But here goes: being from the 60s and from the other side of the tracks, l had first hand experience with drugs. I saw many of my friends fall prey to drugs. When I was 17 i knew i had to get as far away from drugs as I could. I joined the Marine Corps. Smartest thing i ever did. You see I believe its parenting that fails these… Read more »

2 years ago

It is not just children who succumb to opioid addiction – far from it. Parental control will not help adults who begin taking opioids for ligitimate pain because of a prescription from a trusted doctor. I have known 4 adults who became opioid addicts because they were prescribed prescription pain killers. 3 of them were fine, upstanding, intelligent adults with good skills and jobs (one was a nurse). The 4th person’s morals were slightly questionable before the addiction. However, she obtained her first prescription for legitimate pain. Opioids ruined these 4 people’s and their family’s lives. The grip that this… Read more »

2 years ago

Typical government — greatest if intentions with the worst possible execution!

concerned mom
2 years ago

I dont likw how this war on opoids is way out there. To begin with all these tales of abuse are not the people that are prescribed these medications. It’s the people that get it off the street or go so far as to steal it from family or even stranger’s because the doctors will not give them prescriptions for it. Do research form legitimate sources will prove that. 99.9% of overdoses are not from the people that are?under the care of good doctors. I know that the government is so adamant to control people that they or trying to… Read more »

Jimmy S
2 years ago
Old Griz
2 years ago

Give it a rest drug warriors! Before the Fed’s got involved in what people ingested (drugs/alcohol) brought on by a bunch of self-righteous old biddies known as the “Women’s Temperance League” back in the late 1800’s, opium, cocaine and alcohol were readily available at the corner pharmacist and the country enjoyed one of the greatest growths in the history of the world! Notice the “WTL” didn’t target opiates or cocaine because they regularly used them for all types of “feminine” ailments (i.e., the “vapors). Great poets/authors like Edgar Allen Poe, wrote their greatest works, while under the influence of “Laudanum”,… Read more »

Bob L.
2 years ago

I’ve been saying that President Trump has been getting some bad advice since taking office and it has to be from some holdovers as well as establishment GOP/NWO people he has enlisted for positions in his administration.

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