Prescription Thugs (2015)

prescription-thugsDirector Chris Bell (Bigger Faster Stronger) takes a look at the role of culture, doctors, and Big Pharma in the role of prescription drug addiction.

This documentary (which I would rate R for language and some disturbing imagery) has a great blend of personal anecdotes and scientific evidence to support its position.  What is the position of this film, though?  At first, it seems to be about the impact of addiction on celebrities and their families.  Bell shares his own family’s story of losing his well-known WWF brother to a prescription drug overdose, and he includes interviews with other famous wrestlers and a former NFL player.

However, his focus then shifts to an attack on the villainous pharmaceutical industry and their doctor pawns who misrepresent, promote, and dole out prescription drugs like candy at the end of each visit.  By the end, though, Bell becomes more theoretical, essentially blaming the prescription drug epidemic on the addictive behaviors of our culture.  As a society, we insist upon quick fixes to block out physical and emotional pain, and we have a steady stream of “solutions” for the human struggle: fast food, sugar, coffee, prescription drugs, Netflix binging, etc.

There are no clear-cut answers given in this documentary- only a better understanding of the addictive personality lurking in all of us.  For its candor, research and real-life examples, and the shocking reveal three-quarters of the way through, I recommend it as worth a watch and a definite must-see if you rely on prescription drugs or know someone else who does (that pretty much covers all of us).

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