Our very own director of outreach Joseph Gorordo recently spoke with FOX 7. The interview was part of a piece about a lawsuit filed against pharma giant Purdue by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Joseph discussed his own personal struggle with addiction, specifically how he was given a bottle of 80 Vicodin after surgery for a bone tumor in his femur. He discusses how addiction derailed his life and how the fallout could have been lessened if he had a proper grasp of how dangerous these drugs were. It was an illuminating and candid piece about how quickly, and unwittingly, one can fall into addiction. We are exceedingly proud of Joseph for his candor and the strength he’s exhibited in his recovery.
Purdue is the manufacturer of OxyContin as well as multiple other brand-name versions of opioids like hydromorphone, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine, and hydrocodone. The lawsuit alleges that the company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by downplaying and misrepresenting the risks associated with these drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 1,375 Texans died of an opioid-related overdose in 2016, a number that is expected to be higher once 2017 totals are finally counted. Stakeholders from all areas of the addiction treatment and prevention communities are working toward solutions that can curb these deaths, including holding manufacturers more accountable.
The lawsuit is not the first of its kind. Several other states, including New York and Kentucky, have filed suit against pharma companies for what they say are dishonest and dangerous marketing practices. Joseph was able to overcome his addiction to these pills and get help; however, there are thousands of addicted Americans who are not able to do that, whether it’s due to lack of information, lack of access to treatment or a variety of other factors. See Joseph’s interview here.