Modern Pain Killers: Biggest Medical Hoax in Last 100 Years

This is a guest editorial post written by our newest contributor, Larry Golbom R.Ph MBA of the Prescription Addiction Radio show.

An Open Letter to the Legal Community Regarding the Overmarketing of Pain Killers by Pharmaceutical Companies Acting as Common Drug Dealers

Prior to being named pain killers, the opium derived drugs were referred to as narcotics. Over one hundred years ago our forefathers took morphine and heroin out of the patent medicines. Morphine and heroin, both products from the opium plant, have the basic morphinan molecule, as do all of today’s opioid “pain relievers”. Starting in 1986, with the misinterpretation of the World Health Organization’s paper concerning terminal pain, the morphinan molecule has come back with a vengeance in the form of oxycodone (Percocet and Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin and Lorcet). Oxycodone, Darvocet and hydrocodone have replaced the legally prescribed scourge of heroin prior to making it illegal in 1924.

The drug companies have been ingenious in marketing the need to treat chronic pain regardless of the facts or the outcome. The millions reportedly in chronic pain include a myriad of candidates according to the drug companies. Over-weight middle aged people with back pain, grandmothers with bursitis and young people with a minor injury are all targets for the drugs that have replaced heroin in our society. With the introduction of Oxycontin in 1995, Purdue Pharma used the same tactics to market and sell that the Bayer Company used with the introduction of heroin in 1898. Bayer gave heroin out freely to doctors and Purdue presented free coupons for Oxycontin. In fact, as I write this, promotional coupons are being handed out by the thousands by Purdue to persuade people to try their first “feel good” at a discount.

Oxycodone is a narcotic and a possible side effect is pain relief. For far too many oxycodone means a “high”, withdrawal, addiction or death, the same as heroin. We now have tens of thousands dying from the same basic molecular entity that contains heroin and hundreds of thousands more are addicted. The disability claims and people who can no longer work after “therapy with the opioids” has skyrocketed. At the least, people who have been on the “pain killers” will experience painful withdrawal after a period of time on the drugs. At the worst, people will be forced into treatment and rehabilitation facilities to attempt to stop using the addictive substances. There are very few people who are “cured” from the opioids. Most people who enter into the “contract with the opioids” start taking them for pain and later find out that they have two problems: pain and drug addiction.

Dr Steve Gelfand, an accomplished rheumatogist states:

“We need to recognize the concept of iatrogenic addiction is under-recognized and under-reported, but so pervasive, and the disability problem which is very frequent among opioid addicts who often try to claim disability by attributing their condition to questionable medical diagnoses. I know this as an independent national disability peer-reviewer in rheumatology who reviews long-term disability claims of large carriers which not infrequently are influenced by the under-recognized consequences of opiate overuse and addiction”.

Attorneys who specialize in disability claims may take issue with the previous statement, but for families and loved ones who are living with the consequences of addiction, Dr. Gelfand brings a refreshing viewpoint contrary to the pain management machine that has been developed in this country. Thousands of unnecessary prescriptions are being dispensed every day. I challenge any medical professional to present medical literature that can support the combination of opioids, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, amphetamines and a myriad of anti-psychotic medications that have become part of the disabling and deadly mix for far too many people. The drug companies and pain management industry have meticulously and ingeniously been able to perpetuate myths and lies to continue the newest of opium epidemics in human history. The common man does not have the wherewithal or resources to turn the destruction today’s drug companies and pain management doctors (code words for narcotics) have foisted on society. If a neighborhood had someone selling heroin on their streets, they would be outraged. But, having a doctor distribute equally dangerous products on the same street corner has not registered. Unfortunately, the American press and media remain clueless and prisoners of the information only being disseminated by an industry that has become out of control with little conscience as to the destruction they are creating.

The attorneys in our country have a history of bringing about safer products and protecting our citizens. This is a challenge to attorneys everywhere that an opportunity is being missed. I hope this post will help creative people understand that the opium plant, the same opium plant that has devastated societies for the last 5,000 years, has raised its influence once again in our lifetime. The drug companies call them pain killers. The addict calls them roxies, oxys and blueberries.

Although a pharmacist, I remain a lay person concerning legal affairs. I have long wondered how the legal community has missed what appears to be a multi million dollar opportunity in regards to the over marketing and over selling of the “pain killers” in our society.

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Larry is a registered pharmacists, activist and radio show host of the Prescription Addiction Radio Show and writes about the prescription drug epidemic in America.

21 thoughts on “Modern Pain Killers: Biggest Medical Hoax in Last 100 Years

  1. I am very sympathic to people who are in constant pain from cancer or horible pain and they can’t do anything to change. I believe that they should get whatever medication they need to relieve the pain. However in the United States the drug Oxycodone or Oxycontin is being given out like candy to anyone that has a complaint of a pain here or there. I lost my husband 3 years ago to Opiate based drugs and lost my 30 year old daughter 3 months ago to Oxycodone. I recently took my 11 year old granddaughter to the ER for a simple ear infection and they gave me a script for oxycodone for the pain. That’s when I hit my limit. Purdue Pharma took 2 generations from me and I will be damned if they get the 3rd. generation. That’s when I decided to go after Purdue Pharma for the wrongful death of my daughter. I know it’s going to be an up-hill battle but it is one I am going to push with everything I have left in me. The attorneys seem to be afraid to take the big company on but I will keep looking for one until I find the right firm. Dr. Larry has been of great assistance to me and is a great source of information. I will continue my fight against these pushers until there is some change in this insane situation that this drug company has created. And what the hell is wrong with the FDA to continue to allow this to go on. BTW I just read an article that Purdue Pharma is now testing the effects of Oxycodone on children. The insanity continues.

  2. I have used Oxycodone for 10 years along with a intrathecal morphine pump I work every day without them life would be a living hell so thank god for oxycodone when used as intended its a god given life saver shame on you P. A. Radio why do you hate people in pain I wish you could walk in my shoes for a day you are so wrong must be some good money in pushing your lie I pity the likes of you

  3. It is a sham that doctors have little care for those that are in pain, I knew of one, here in South Australia, who put me on opioids, and for the first time in a long time, I had some quality of life for 5 years, but our Government soon put paid to this wonderful and understanding doctor, they paid him off and shut him down! Sadly, I then had to go to what seems the only doctor left that is able to priscribe opioids, but he cancelled my allowance immediately because I would not take his suggestion of Ketamine, though its side effects not only frightened me, but my own GP advised me not to go down that track because Ketamine has had devastating effects on some patients. Having said that, because I said no to Ketamine, I am not allowed any pain assistance and as a pensioner, I suffer severe and often now, chronic pain; I will now spend my time in bed throwing up in pain! One of my problems, is I am very susceptible to side effects from ordinary medications, which in the case of some, have forced me into hospital with doctors trying to keep me alive.

    Having said the above, I some time wonder if medicos are paid to push certain drugs and get paid highly for doing so by pharmacutical companies, such as Ketamine or nothing! Yet, this doctor, charged me as a pensioner, $200 for the first visit and then $86 for the next 2 minute visit, but he does have a phylosophy, which he has on his surgery wall, it says, “if you don’t pay, you won’t get better!” Doesn’t that say a lot for a doctor. I feel sure that he has never suffered even a headach in his life and would not know what genuine pain is!

  4. i suffer chronic pain and am able to work and have a family because i take oxycontin twice daily. not eceryone who takes these drugs do so for a high, people will always make poor decisions so why Ruin my life a lose my ability to work because some people , even though we have heard it for years, take drugs for recreation. its not big pharma or doctors fault it is the person who decided to take a drug thats illegal to possess or ingest. u should not attempt to disrupt thousands of lives for your rediulous crucaide

  5. I have an idea let’s all sue the makers of oxycotin and vicodin. We can make a documentary on the process and all Of the millions of lives that have been lost to this satanic drug!! There are other pain medications out there people. Do you know what the war in Afghsnistan was really about? Poppy fields…Opiom.. And why would they want to drug us?Why else to have us sleeping like sheep?? So they can create the New World Order right in front of your eyes but your to high to care.. Also it’s a great population control tool as well.

  6. why we all of a sudden worried 100 yrs later ? good ? huh go figure …people can overdue anything marijuana drinking ..i guess thats ok for fun but people with diseases or disabilitys cannot live without oxys

  7. I am from a suburb of Philadelphia. Kids that I knew in High school took oxicontin, but they did not get it from someone who was prescribed. The would go to the slums of Philadelphia and get the pills. How is a controlled substance poured out on the streets not accounted for??

  8. I enjoyed the article. It is entertaining and educational. I am also glad some commenters have voiced their concern about your lack of explaining the duplicity of the drugs based on oxy and hydro codone. While it is true that the opium plant has devastated societies for the last 5,000 years it has also been miraculously helpful to many if not all of those very same societies when used in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Morphine is a double edged sword and it seemed like in the article you did not wish to address the positive aspects of modern pain killers. I can understand taking the stance you do being part of Prescription Addiction Radio you would not want people to get mixed ideas especially addicts but in the future it may be helpful to acknowledge the legitimacy under certain conditions of whatever drug you may be chastising. Again I enjoyed the article thank you for writing it.

  9. This is the best article I have read on this subject. It is truthful, historically correct, and gets to the core of the problem. I applaud you on your willingness as a medical professional to see this situation for what it is, and not crouch behind the “woes of those in pain”. The drug company’s have created this situation out of pure greed, and irresponsibly turned a blind eye and deaf ear to every horrible statistic thier efforts have and continue to raise. The doctors, shamedly ,were not prepared for such gross deciet, and allowed these “drug dealers” do the research/homework they, themselves should have been doing, before handing out narcotics like candy. We now live with never-before-seen numbers of addicts, who were originally prescribed inappropriate opiates for inappropriate medical conditions. None of this could have happened if doctors were as well schooled on pain management and pain medications as they should have been. This is exactly what the big pharms have counted on. I am a chronic pain patient and I wish my fellow sufferers would stop mis-interpreting these types of opinions/positions, such as yours, as an attack on thier right to have pain relief. No one ever suggests that. If you are truly in pain, you will never be denied pain relief. In fact, you should be worried about being overprescribed and finding yourself in detox centers because the statistics are showing that it is a good likelihood of where many pain patients are ending up. As far as the legal field, and it’s lack of involvement in coming forth to right many of these wrongs, it is the same problem; ignorance. Addiction is a generally misunderstood condition. Medically prescribed addiction is even more-so. It is the one thing that has produced profits in the billions per year. Ignorance. Thank you for shedding light on this ignorance-ridden subject.

  10. Great article, it’s refreshing to finally be able to see the “truth” in print when it comes to opiod addiction. There are other options, opiods are NOT always required for chronic pain.

  11. Larry,

    Great article! I commend you for speaking out and to let you know that you have more supporters than you realize. As as medical professional, I see far too often patients taking powerful narcotics for an ache or pain that could be relieved by alternative methods. Patients are now requesting these drugs and refuse to take anything less, and also “doctor shop” until they get their drug of choice. Physicians need to be a little more vigilant in this growing epidemic and refuse to become “drug pushers” for the pharmaceutical companies. I am shocked that the attorneys of this country have not JUMPED on this opportunity. $$$$

  12. Chronic pain is one of the most debilitating and destructive diseases you can have. I have had chronic pain for 12 years. I cannot walk and rely on a wheelchair for mobility outside the home.

    We need more research to better understand pain mechanisms and to more effectively diagnose and treat chronic pain.

    Rather than vilifying doctors who are trying to relieve suffering, please focus your energy on the need for research.

    People have pain, there is nothing worse than pain.

  13. Dr Larry Golbom has written a fine and fiery column about the terrible evils of the many different opioids now prescribed for acute pain therapy. Oxycodone and hydrocodone, which the fine doctor portrays as our new age “morphine and heroin”, bringing about the inevitable verdict, people will surely experience painful withdrawals. These “people” in question were thus described: “Over-weight middle aged people with back pain, grandmothers with bursitis and young people with a minor injury are all targets for the drugs that have replaced heroin in our society”. Then the fine Doctor starts his summation on today’s topic, by attempting to enlist legions of caring Attorneys who have, according to Dr.Golbom, “have a history of bringing about safer products and protecting our citizens”, urging one and all onward to battle, by stating “an opportunity is being missed”, a nod in the direction of the great horrible drug manufacturers.

    On behalf of the countless over-weight middle aged people with back pain, grandmothers with bursitis and young people with a minor or major injury, also those suffering acute pain as a result of maybe Cancer Symptoms, Peripheral neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, Spinal stenosis, and the list can go on and on, I would like to ask this good doctor, for these millions of suffering souls, what amazing alternatives will he be announcing to the world? Or is the fine doctor on the verge of stating that all that these millions of hypochondriacs need is a little exercise, more sleep and a better diet to know the magnificent wonders and good fortune of being without pain?

    My Regards to all

  14. I am outraged and saddened at your lack of compassion and respect for persons in pain. You obviously do not have pain…maybe never have had any serious pain that lasted for months or years…

    While I acknowledge that there is a problem in this country and most likely the world regarding the abuse and diversion of this class of drugs called Opioids. People have died and people have become addicted. BUT let’s look at some of the factors that led to this issue:

    1. the media is partly to blame…as they sensationalized the Oxycontin abuse that occured in the appalachin mountains where some bored individuals decided to experiment with gramma’s medicines. Some got high and some died..and many got addicted. BUT the Media let everyother young person and addict out there know just how to do it…crush and snort… who knew….not my chronic pain patients and not my Hospice patients. they do not get high, nor do they get addicted and they do not die from the opioids…they get Pain relief and increased quality of life and in some cases these drugs were life saving as their only other option to excape their excruciating pain was to end their life. Happily they did not have to commit suicide to find relief and lived out the remainder of their life, more comfortable and able to enjoy life.

    2. Healthcare Providers are not educated about the complex nature of pain and how to assess and treat it. they are in fear of their license being revoked due to the War on Drugs which has victimized both the person in pain and their healthcare provider.

    3. organized crime has somehow been able to divert millions of doses of these drugs before they ever get to a legitimate pharmacy. BUT no news media will cover that angle of the story.

    Persistent Pain is a horrible master….it is a thief that steals your life one function at a time…until it finally steals your soul and you wish for death to end the pain.

    I believe that Pain is VERY complex and requires complex solutions…the opioid medications ar but one part of the equation…but for some these medications are life saving. It allows them to explore other options to reduce their pain…it allows them to concentrate and learn how to control thier pain using multimodal treatments (which by the way, most insurance companies do not cover).

    I have chronic pain. I do not overuse my medication but I know it is there if the pain gets out of control on any given day. I use a lot of non-pharmacological types of strategies and treatments that I have learned over the years as a Pain management nurse. I teach my clients to use these same strategies. Some are on Opioids and some are not on any analgesics (pain relievers). I work full time plus volunteer my time with both state and national pain advocacy organizations to increase education and awareness of the 75 million people who live in pain on a daily basis.

    The undertreatment of pain is a national Public Health crisis. Abuse, diversion and addiction to prescription drugs is on the rise. BUT I dare to venture a guess that most of the abuse, diversion and addiction is not among the persons with persistent pain but among the street addicted population and the teens who have discovered a new avenue to get their jollies…from Mom and Gramma’s medicine cabinet…and it is on the street. I also venture a guess that even if you stopped all the prescriptions written for opioids there would still be a problem on the street because they (the addicts) have always been able to find a new source for their habit. 10 – 18% of the general population is addicted. Let’s focus on this 10 -18% and find a solution to this problem BUT let’s leave the persons in pain alone…

    We treat animals with more compassion than we do persons in pain.
    All we who are in pain want is Compassion, respect and just access to appropriate pain care and treatment.

    Just remember, We are all one illness, one accident away from living with persistent unrelieved pain. Pain is an equal opportunity affliction!

    For more information about how you can get involved in advocating for more balanced pain and drug policies and treatment for those in pain…go to

    Dionetta Hudzinski
    State Leader – Power Over Pain Action Network

  15. Pete D – Thank you for bringing our attention to this. We do not control which ads show up on the site. Google matches ads that their system thinks are “appropriate” to the content by looking at the keywords used in our content.

    I will log into our account and see about blocking sites that offer to sell dangerous prescription drugs online. Yes, we want our readers to have respect for us and our content. Thanks again for asking a great question and opening our eyes to this issue.


    Everett Sizemore
    Editor – US Recall News

  16. Larry,
    You are much more than a pharmacist and a “lay” law person — you are a voice for all our children and families that suffer in silence from this life altering addiction….
    Its the all mighty “opiod” dollar that speaks loudest —
    Thank you for continuing the fight — you have many more supporters than you know….

  17. I know you need the money, but having Google ads on this site about how to get Oxy really easily without a prescription is a little crazy! Don’t ya think?

    Do you want anyone to have any respect for you?

  18. I 100 percent agree. The big Pharma is more powerful than our government. They can sell the same pill here for $100 and sell it in India for 10 cents. So we are basically subsidizing the entire world in health care. NO presidential candidate even mentions the drug companies as part of our health care problem.

    As far as the drugs themselves, I’ve been on them all and just stopped most, including Vicodin. No withdrawal this time but a few years it was like hitting a brick wall. I also am a Prozac survivor (2 days now) after about 20 years of SSRI’s and other garbage. I told my doctor I was just going to fill up some pill shells with Nutrasweet and take that instead.

    I think Prozac had a 47 percent efficacy rate and the placebo had a 43 percent affect. Wow, billions for a lousy 4 percent???? Of course the clinical trials are way too short.

    When I saw my psychiatrist last week, there were more drug reps in his office than patients. As I walked into his office, I said “I guess the drug reps get priority over your patients.” Then I told him that they are probably making more money than he. Finally, I gave him that English study that said SSRI’s are completely worthless. He read one of 9 pages.

    And the first 75 percent of the Zyprexa patients who got diabetes made $87,000 each and all I got was $5,000. How can a company afford to shell out close to a BILLION DOLLARS in law suit money and still make big profits? Oh and by the way, 30 Zyprexa pills ran about $800 here.

    And another thing I like is how mental hospitals will eat up every penny of your insurance maximum and then throw you back on the street.

    No more. I want to see what life is really like.

    As Paul McCartney would say, “The movement you need is on your shoulder.”

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