This is the third episode in the Hulu miniseries DopesickRandy Ramseyer (an assistant U.S. lawyer in Virginia) undergoes prostate cancer surgery. Even though he claims that his pain post-op is unbearable, Ramseyer refuses to use the OxyContin offered by Purdue Pharma, saying that he only wants Tylenol.

Ramseyer describes the incident later as an escape from the grips of pharmacological slave labor. Ramseyer says that he could easily have fallen for Oxy. It wouldn’t be the disease that would have killed me, it would have been my medication. “I was lucky.”

It is clear that opioids, even in severe post-surgical pain, are inappropriate treatments. Ramseyer’s decision, and his reasons for it, illustrate how DopesickThis documentary, which purports to be about the wrongdoings of one untrustworthy pharmaceutical company promotes harmful misconceptions regarding opioids, addiction and pain treatment.

An 2021 Review of Evidence in the Journal Frontiers in Pain Research concluded that “the prevalence of opioid use disorder associated with prescription opioids is likely < 3%.” DopesickThe book is based upon Beth Macy’s 2018 novel of the name. It presents an unusual result as if it were normal. Never have we seen a patient in their entire lives who lived a happy, healthy life. Improved by prescription opioids. Patients who use opioids to treat pain usually regret using them.

OxyContin doesn’t differ in any way from other opioids analgesics. DopesickThe indictment by it is an indictment against the whole of the drug category. This show depicts them as unacceptablely dangerous in virtually every context with possible exceptions for dying cancer patients. DopesickThe creators of ‘Sticks’ seem to believe that everyone should, regardless how painful their pain is, follow the cruel advice given by Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General: “Take some Aspirin and tough it out.”