Will the People of Appalachia Ever Get Addiction Help?
I recently watched a documentary on the living conditions in the Appalachian mountains – West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. The film crew followed the lives of a few different people in the area for about two years. One girl was the daughter of a drug addict (mother), another was a high school senior who was a football star but because of the living conditions at home he slept in his truck. Or wherever he could. He was determined not to be yet another generation of extreme poverty, little education, drugs, alcohol, fighting, etc.
The poverty was truly saddening. There are two million people in the area and 1/2 of them don’t have jobs. Many of those who do work are in the mines and, although they were reluctant to speak about it on camera, with their supervisor watching them, it was clear that many of them suffered from black lung and other physical problems.
Purdue Pharma pumped OxyContin into that area like it was going out of style. Talk about hitting them when they’re down. There are so many people in need of addiction help, but I doubt any signficant amount of money, if any, from their $634 million fine went to help those people.
I don’t know if there are class action lawsuits going on in the area, but there should be. And those from Purdue who pled guilty, plus a lot of others, should be made to go to the area and see the damage they’ve done.
Money, it’s all about money.