Dopesick the Keen-Eyed Book is Now Dopesick the Keen-Eyed TV Series
Yep, you read correctly. Dopesick the keen-eyed book is now Dopesick the keen-eyed TV series. The network? Hulu. And they begin airing the first three episodes on October 13th. The remaining five hit the ether weekly thereafter. And if eight weighty episodes courtesy of the good folks at Hulu doesn’t sound like a right-sized configuring for a story of this scope, well, perhaps you need to turn up the volume.
As you undoubtedly suspect, Beth Macy‘s acute and comprehensive book provides the initial spur. Fully entitled Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little Brown), the deep dive had depth enough to be shortlisted for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. It also had weight enough to inspire Danny Strong to turn it into a mini-series. Strong, who’s got a fistful of clever roles under his belt, as well as a pair of Hunger Games screenplays to his credit, co-created the Peak TV hit Empire. And here the many award-winning creative seems set on turning that remarkable small screen strike into a Peak TV empire all his own.
Strong’s morphing couldn’t be more perfectly-timed, especially with the Opioid Epidemic continuing to rival Covid in its sweep of death and destruction. It also couldn’t be more welcome. Not only must the culprits be held accountable for their egregious misdeeds, but such blatant and deadly exploitation must never be repeated. And that’s going to take telling the tale until the facts become well known to everyone.
Just the Facts, Man
Then again, the facts of this tragic matter are so widespread they probably are already well known by everyone. They’ve almost certainly have been felt by nearly everyone. After all, we’re talking about 93,000+ dead Americans — and that’s in a single year no less.
We’re also talking about tens of thousands of American casualties in each of the preceding years for the past two decades. Granted, we almost plateaued in 2019, at what now seems an almost reasonable 50,000. Then Covid happened, and all bets were called. So were all the insane attempts at putting a reasonable face on opioids. Good thing too. Because there will never be anything reasonable about the Opioid Epidemic. Ever.
Nevertheless, we’d reached a new unreasonable. Just the fact that folks were somewhat encouraged to see deaths hadn’t breached the 50,000 mark as expected only shows just how unreasonable everything and everybody had become. So did the fact that people believed 49,860 deaths deserved to be preceded by an “only.”
Indeed, the scope — and the story — is as big as it gets. Actually, encompassing the whole of so many worlds as it does, it may be even bigger. There’s not one person in all the land that hasn’t in some way been impacted by the Opioid Epidemic. There isn’t one institution that’s escaped impact either.
Okay, so nothing beats Covid. But Opioids are sure keeping pace. The Epidemic even seems to be exploiting the Pandemic to its deadly advantage. Seems isolation and uneasiness are boons for all sorts of bad things.
And bad people. Yes, the Opioid Epidemic has its very own boogeyman. An operative so diabolical he seems almost cartoonish. Unfortunately this is no cartoon. Not even close. It’s simple, ugly evil. Because by the time all is said and done this man and his minions will have killed over a million Americans. One. Million. Americans. All dead due to one man’s greed.
His name is Richard Sackler. His company is called Purdue Pharma. And his drug of choice was OxyContin. Macy, and now Strong, have, by necessity, made him explicitly vivid.
The Bright Minds Behind Dopesick
Macy and Strong are not the only bright minds behind the dark we see in Dopesick of course. Oscar-winner Barry Levinson leads off the A-list of directors. And Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson lead the A-cast of actors.
Lucky Michael Stuhlbarg gets to play the bad guy. Anyone who’s followed the news knows Sackler is considered one of the most despicable villains America has ever produced. Those who’ve read Macy’s book will know he’s earned the title — and then some.
In fact, our colleagues at Recovery Boot Camp gave Dopesick a plug when it racked back in 2018. They’d ripped words like “ferocious,” “harrowing” and “impressive” from the many, many reviews that signaled the book as a must-read. And we’re certain Macy’s take on Not-Sorry Sackler is one of the reasons for all the raves. Then again, Macy’s ace at everything she does. And that includes Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America, the podcast which first reinforced Dopesick the book.
Now we’ve got Dopesick the TV series as expert reinforcement. The only thing better would be to have a world where Dopesick wasn’t necessary to read, write, watch or listen to at all. Yes, the creatives have created some incredibly keen content. And yes, it’s terribly important content as well. But we could name at least 93,000 families who’d rather it not have to exist. But Dopesick must exist. Because everyone needs to know how we got into this mess. After all, that’s the only way we’ll be able to avoid falling into such a lethal trap again.
Thank you, Beth Macy. And thank you Danny Strong. And thanks Little Brown and Hulu and everyone else who had a hand in bringing these great good things to life. Pray these are the remedies we need.
And you? Feeling dopesick? Looking to not feel dopesick? Help is out there, you know. Through NIDA. Through SAMHSA. Here at Healing Properties. All you’ve gotta do is call. Really. So please, if you’re hurting. Pick up the phone.
(Dopesick Image & Trailer Courtesy Hulu)