John Temple Quotes
“By 2002, six years after its release, Purdue was selling almost $1.5 billion of the drug each year—eight times the volume the company had projected. The single drug represented 80 percent of Purdue’s net sales. It was the biggest-selling brand-name controlled substance on the market. The once sleepy drugmaker was now a powerhouse, and it wasn’t about to concede that its star product had a major flaw. OxyContin’s”
“But deaths involving prescription narcotics continued to mount, until the trend was impossible to dismiss. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids quadrupled between 1999 and 2007, from about three thousand to twelve thousand per year. By contrast, cocaine killed about six thousand users in 2007, heroin about two thousand. Prescription narcotics were now killing more Americans than all illegal drugs combined. In”
“The company was selling an addictive drug that it said would not addict you as long as it was taken as prescribed. Then, when the drug did addict someone, and they began taking too much of it, or hoarding it to take all at once, or trying to obtain multiple prescriptions or early refills—then, that person was no longer taking it as prescribed. That person became one of the outcasts, an addict, and therefore the “safe when taken as prescribed” dictum remained valid.”
“As a pharmacist, Golbom could determine only two clear advantages OxyContin had over heroin as a recreational drug. One, OxyContin was legal. Two, it was pharmaceutical-grade—you knew exactly what was in it, unlike a bag of heroin bought on the street. Other than that, oxycodone addiction and heroin addiction were the same thing.”
“In 1993, three years before OxyContin came out, the DEA allowed pharmaceutical companies to manufacture 3,520 kilograms of oxycodone. In 2007, the DEA signed off on the production of seventy thousand kilograms of oxycodone. Almost twenty times the amount manufactured just fourteen years earlier. Twenty times.”
“And it wasn’t just oxycodone. Between 1996 and 2007, the DEA had nearly quadrupled the production of hydrocodone, allowed manufacturers to produce almost ten times the amount of fentanyl, and hiked the quota of hydromorphone by four and a half times. Despite its impact on public health, the quota-setting process was conducted in secret.”
“combated drug waves by reducing quotas before. In the 1970s, when speed pills were popular, the DEA cut the quota of amphetamines by 90 percent, and the illicit market dried up. A decade later, sedative-hypnotics like Quaa- ludes swept across the country, and the DEA cut the quota of the ingredient methaqualone by 74 percent, which effectively erased the problem. Now, prescription narcotics were killing far more people than speed or sedatives, but the government was signing off on large increases in the supply each year.”
“Cafiero’s report said that Broward County was the nation’s number-one dispensing site for oxycodone, that doctors in the county had dispensed more than 3.3 million pills in the first six months of 2008. A Broward County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said: “The appearance is that they are pill mills, simply handing drugs out, hand over fist. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of individuals trafficking into the state of Florida specifically to obtain pharmaceutical drugs.” The report showed photos of a”
“Between 1998 and 2001, a cluster of nine counties on both sides of the Kentucky/West Virginia border received more prescription narcotics per capita than anywhere else in the country. The pills were everywhere, and it was a casual thing. In the early days, say 1999 or 2000, the dealer tended to be the old lady down the street who was prescribed twice as many pills as she used. Often as not, a drug deal went like this—you dropped by the old lady’s house, maybe had a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, asked after the family, traded a few stories, then cash for an old bottle of pills.”
- Description: John Temple is a veteran investigative journalist whose books illuminate significant issues in American life.
His forthcoming book, Up in Arms, details Cliven and Ammon Bundy's multiple standoffs with the federal government. It will appear in June 2019.
Temple’s last book, American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic, was named a New York Post “Favorite Book of 2015” and was a 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee. American Pain chronicles how two young felons built the largest pill mill in the United States and also explains the roots of the opioid epidemic.
Temple also wrote The Last Lawyer: The Fight to Save Death Row Inmates (2009) and Deadhouse: Life in a Coroner’s Office (2005). The Last Lawyer won the Scribes Book Award from the American Society of Legal Writers.
Temple is a tenured journalism professor at the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. He holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to academia, Temple worked as a newspaper reporter. He currently lives in Morgantown, West Virginia with his wife and two sons. More information can be found at www.johntemplebooks.com.