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Former DEA agent says Big Pharma created the opioid epidemic

"60 Minutes" calls the opioid crisis gripping the nation "the worst drug epidemic in American history." Cincinnati has certainly gotten to see it close hand. Over the past 20 years, opioid-related drug crime has skyrocketed, as have overdose deaths and addiction problems.

A former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration administrator told the newsmagazine that the crisis was created by the pharmaceutical industry, Congress, the drug distribution network, pain clinics and rogue pharmacies. All of those players had financial stakes in the nurturing, enabling and fueling the surge in opioid use that began in the late 1990s.

Joe Rannazzisi ran the DEA's Office of Diversion Control -- the division regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical business.

"This is an industry that's out of control," he said. "This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors' offices, that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs."

More than 200,000 people have lost their lives to opioids, the news magazine stated. Many more people had their careers, educations and families torn apart by addiction that led to drug-related crime, arrests and incarceration.

Back in the '90s, drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone were new and were promoted as effective means of controlling pain. Pharmaceutical companies promised effective pain treatment with low risk of opioid addiction.

The reality has been something quite different, of course.

If you face time inside an Ohio prison for opioid-related crimes, you can speak with an attorney experienced in drug defense. Contact Michael K. Allen & Associates for more information.

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