While the Drug Enforcement Administration dealt decisively with previous drug epidemics– speed in the 70s and Quaaludes in the 80s – it has allowed large pharmaceutical companies free rein in producing opioids, according to West Virginia University’s John Temple, the author of “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic” which examined the genesis and proliferation of the opioid epidemic.

“Opioids kill far more people than those other drugs ever did, yet the government continued to make back-rooms deals with Big Pharma, flooding American streets with highly addictive pills. I hope the release of this data [DEA’s Automated Reports and Consolidated Orders Systems] puts a spotlight on the government’s lack of oversight of controlled substances.” — John Temple, Professor, Reed College of Media

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