After I finished watching “Yellowjackets,” I needed something new to watch and settled on “Dopesick” on Hulu.
I was excited when I saw this came out (in October of 2021), because I read the book in 2018 — here is my book review — but, I knew I had to be in the right headspace.
“Dopesick” — the book and the series — is about America’s opioid epidemic.
Both go back to 1996, when OxyContin was introduced to doctors, pharma reps, and medical sales teams alike. And sadly, every day, hardworking Americans suffering from chronic pain became addicted by using a drug as prescribed by their doctors, directed by the FDA.
Americans were staving off the dopesick until they died or found help via therapy or a narcotic.
The series shares different stories from the book, and although I don’t know how true those stories are. (this article shares that they are based on real people), I’m certain they are a solid representation of what our country has suffered in the last 25 years.
Michael Keaton plays a small-town doctor in Appalachia, treating patients suffering from illness and mining injuries. Oxy seems to be a miracle drug for many of his patients… until it stops working as promised.
His patients fall prey to addiction and so does he.
The other half of the Hulu series shows the true story of the Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma. Purdue Pharma lied about OxyContin’s inability to be addictive or dangerous, and they ultimately pushed higher doses for longer periods of time in order to sell more pills.
Both the book and the series made one thing clear: the opioid crisis was NOT an accident, and everyday people suffered (and are still suffering). It’s heartbreaking.
There was one scene where Keaton’s character snorts Oxy for the first time, and he puts on a record after looking at a picture of his wife, who died years prior to cancer.
He’s dancing alone in his home, holding his arms out as if he has a partner. And it is one of the saddest, raw scenes I have ever watched.
Watching the actors play the Sackler family as they laughed off getting away with lying to the FDA and pretended to care when hundreds of people died from using Oxy as prescribed gave me chills.
This series is so well done, but it is obviously a little dark and may be triggering. If you want to learn more about the opioid crisis, I think you’ll enjoy this.
What are you streaming lately?
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