Donald Trump promised Americans during the campaign that he was going to address the opioid epidemic, and that all came to a head this past week when he delivered his speech on the issue. Instead of offering solutions, he said that we should just tell our kids that opioids are bad and they maybe shouldn’t take them. THAT’S HIS PLAN? Luckily, state governments are tired of the deceptive practices of Big Pharma that created this crisis, and they’re filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers for lying about the addictiveness of their blockbuster pills. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


Donald Trump talked a really good game about how he was going to tackle the opiod crisis in the United States during the campaign. He said we’re going to devote money, we’re going to devote resources, we’re going to get people better. We’re going to solve this problem once and for all.

Well, after seven months of complete inaction other than carrying forward a few programs from the Obama administration that had been put in place, on August 8th, Donald Trump finally gave his big speech or announcement or whatever you want to call it, about the opiod epidemic in the United States. As it turns out, that speech contained absolutely nothing of substance. Donald Trump’s speech basically amounted to Ronald Reagan’s campaign of “Just Say No” because Trump said maybe we should, you know, maybe, maybe talk to our kids and tell them, “Hey, opioids, those are bad things that you should probably stay away from. Bad. They’ll mess you up.” That’s what we got, folks. That’s the big plan from the Trump administration to address the opiod epidemic is, hey, tell your kids these things probably aren’t that great. That’s not a plan. That’s something people probably are already doing. So, lacking a federal plan to take on the opiod epidemic.

States, specifically the state of New Hampshire this week, has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the makers of OxyContin, for mislabeling and lying about the addictive properties of their blockbuster drug. Here’s the thing. Before Purdue came out with OxyContin, nobody knew who Purdue Pharmaceutical was. They weren’t making very much money. Finally, they derived this opioid-based painkiller, again, OxyContin, and suddenly they saw their sales skyrocket within 10 years into the multi-billion dollar level. The opiod crisis in the United States is a multi-billion dollar a year industry for Big Pharma.

States like New Hampshire have had enough. Because while Big Pharma profits from this, do you know what happens when somebody overdoses on opioids and somebody has to call an ambulance and they get rushed to the hospital or you find somebody lying on the street that’s overdosed on opioids? The cities, the states, have to cover those costs. Taxpayers are footing the bill for this, just like all of the deaths and illnesses related to the big tobacco deaths.

That’s what sparked that litigation and now cities, states, attorneys across this country, they’re trying to do the same thing to opioids. The manufacturers of these drugs, including Purdue with their OxyContin, lied about the addictive qualities of these pills. All they did when they told doctors about their new blockbuster pain medication was that it really helped people with their pain issues. They didn’t tell them that it was as addictive as heroin. They just told them that it was great, they’re not all that expensive, and people can take them and feel better and go about their lives. They left out the part where people get hooked on these things because of their highly addictive qualities and end up dying. People are dying in this country every single day from the opioid epidemic that was 100% caused by Big Pharma.

The Trump administration’s approach to this is go talk to your kids about it. Grownups in the United States are taking action and they’re taking on those responsible. They’re taking on companies like Purdue Pharma and other Big Pharma corporations that are making a killing while American citizens are dying at an alarming rate.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced