S3 E27: Opioids & 2016 Election Update: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S3 E27: Opioids & 2016 Election Update: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

2016 US Presidential Election

  • Donald Trump refused to commit to accepting the election results if he lost, raising concerns about American democracy.
  • Trump's poor performance at the Al Smith dinner and his narcissistic tendencies were evident.
  • Concerns exist about Trump's inability to deliver a proper concession speech if he loses.

Opioid Crisis

  • The opioid crisis in the United States, particularly heroin use and addiction, is highlighted.
  • Overprescription of opioids like Oxycontin, chemical cousins of heroin, is a significant factor.
  • Around 75% of heroin users started with prescription opioids due to their high cost and easy accessibility.
  • Purdue Pharma aggressively marketed Oxycontin, downplaying addiction risks and using misleading tactics.
  • The claim of less than 1% addiction rate was based on a letter to the editor, not a peer-reviewed study.
  • Doctors on Purdue's payroll promoted "pseudo addiction," mistaking patients seeking pain relief for drug addicts.
  • Widespread addiction resulted, with 2.6 million Americans addicted to opioids in 2015 and 30,000 overdose deaths annually.

Pharmaceutical Industry's Role

  • Purdue Pharma admitted partial responsibility and paid a significant fine for misleading marketing of Oxycontin.
  • Other pharmaceutical companies faced legal consequences for overmarketing opioid drugs.
  • The CDC issued voluntary guidelines for safer opioid prescribing practices.
  • Limited access to alternative pain treatments in rural areas challenges opioid avoidance.
  • The pharmaceutical industry continues to market new drugs for opioid side effects, indicating ongoing demand.
  • More investment is needed in treatment programs and overdose-reversing drugs like Naloxone.

Glenn Grothman's Controversial Views

  • Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman opposes making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday and believes most African-Americans do not celebrate it.
  • Grothman also opposes the African-American holiday Kwanzaa and wants it to "die a quick death."
  • His flawed study interviewing 20 black Americans at the Rose Bowl concluded that Kwanzaa is unimportant to the average African-American.
  • Despite his extreme views, Grothman was elected as a politician.

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