Prescription Thugs

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In this follow-up to “Bigger Stronger Faster” and after witnessing friends and relatives face tragedy becoming addicted to prescription drugs, Bell sets out to explore the goals of pharmaceutical companies and doctors in this ever-growing market.  Are they any different than back-alley drug-pushers?

His journey leads to experts on the nature of addiction in our culture as well as to pharmaceutical whistleblowers that testify to the solely dollar-driven aims of pharmaceutical companies. Chris meets with WWE legends such as Matthew “Horshu” Wiese and Chris Leben, with former California State Senator (now Congressman for California’s 33rd District) Ted Lieu, pharmaceutical company whistleblower Gwen Olsen, Cliffside Malibu Rehabilitation Center founder Richard Taite, Professor of Psychiatry David Healy, author of Generation RX Greg Critser, and members of his own family.

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5% is the population of the world.  Did you know that more 70% consume prescription drugs?  Is there really a war on drugs or are our doctors and pharmaceutical companies just “prescription thugs”.  In 1971, President Richard Nixon started a war on drugs that do date has cost Americans over one trillion dollars!!!!!

Having screened this film Spring 2015 at the Tribeca Film Festival, I was mortified at these facts and numbers.  I was especially moved by one of the film subjects – “Betsey” who was taking her daughter’s prescription Adderall.  More shocking facts came when it was disclosed that doctors make billions of dollars keeping US sick – 711 billion to be exact.  Furthermore, 6000 kids a day use prescription drugs and every 19 minutes one of these kids or a willing adult dies from an accidental prescription drug overdose.

Hold the presses!!!!  Not all is lost…

Fighting back is State Senator Ted Lieu of Redondo Beach. After an online sting operation,  led by a local task force formed to curb the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, 21 arrests were made of people suspected in unlawfully selling Adderall, OxyContin, Xanax and other medications on Craigslist.

Most of the people arrested are from Ventura County. Others are from Los Angeles, Fontana and Santa Barbara County, Pentis said. Their names were not released because most are cooperating with the investigation.

 

Lieu has written two letters to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster calling for a ban on all listings for narcotics. The company has not responded, he said.

Alarming Levels of Illegal Drugs Bought and Sold Daily on Craigslist 
Drugs that have been posted for sale on craigslist include popular medications for anxiety and prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin.“It is so blatant,” Assistant Sheri Gary Pentis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said. “It’s not even hidden in code words. You can type in ‘Vicodin’ and ‘OxyContin’ and it comes up.”

To date, undercover officers with the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit responded to Craigslist ads for controlled substances and bought or arranged to buy 14 different drugs, including prescription medicines and cocaine.

“Prescription Thufs” will open in select theaters, as well as, be available on iTunes and VOD beginning on January 22, 2016.

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