How Many Vicodin and Oxy Pills Does it Take to Make a Crisis?




‘Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic’ —Washington Post

I’ve read a lot about America’s opiate crisis over the past few years. However, this particular article put a few things in perspective for me that I’d missed before. First of all was the number of pills sold: 76 BILLION pills over ten years between 2006-2016. A CVS pharmacy in Norton, VA is pictured that received 1.3 million opioid pills during that time (population: 4,000).

The corporate malfeasance at every level is good fodder for moral outrage but the sheer numbers of pills shipped is outrageous to think about. It reminds me of these old Rolling Stone lyrics that succinctly encapsulate the struggle of opiate addiction:


Joe’s got a cough, sounds kind a rough
Yeah, and the codeine to fix it
Doctor prescribes, drug store supplies
Who’s gonna help him to kick it?

—Rolling Stones, Torn & Frayed, 1972


Opiate Deaths

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