AMERICAN DRUG CARTEL

You may have noticed photographer Nan Goldin participated in a protest against the poor response to opioid addiction at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this year. Why the hell would people choose that location and why would Goldin join in? One, because she's an artist who got hooked on OxyContin and two, and more importantly, the protest took place in the Sackler Wing of the museum.

Many people are unaware of the Sackler family and that they were the primary players behind the current opioid epidemic in the United States. They were the first to actively market the drug OxyContin as a cure all for all types of physical pain. They made millions upon millions of dollars off of this enterprise. The Sacklers had an uncanny ability to stay under the radar and keep out of the public eye and their connection to opioids and addiction.

One of their main tactics, and this is where Goldin fits in, was their philanthropy. They have museum wings named after them, "donated" art collections, and have their name associated with many art and science programs worldwide. Theirs is a story of greed and irresponsibility that turns the stomach of anyone with a sliver of conscience. I recommend starting here to learn more, then Google around to find further information.

Goldin and the other protesters did a great thing. Going into the Sackler wing and shaming their name - putting a face to the real drug dealers who contributed highly to the addiction problem (without remorse or accountability) - is a highly effective approach. It doesn't solve the problem but it does give the public information about the tactics used by these cretins and peaks curiosity.

The more you know about the details, the more you see the bigger picture. You may develop an interest in these names you see in museums and university wings around the world. Hopefully, the knowledge can lead us to bigger, broader conversations about who's sponsoring what, do you feel good about where the money comes from and what can be done if enough people don't. 

FV