IN the new American drama Dopesick, it delves into the investigation of how one company triggered one of the worst drug epidemic in American history.
Viewers are now intrigued to know if this Hulu series is based on a true story. let’s find out…
Is Dopesick based on a true story?
While Dopesick is a scripted drama, it is about a real-life family’s alleged role in creating one of the biggest public health catastrophes in American History: the opioid crisis.
The series is based largely on the 2018 book by Beth Macy.
The book looks at these complex topics by focusing on how drug dealers’ arrival impacts a Virginia town.
“I am hopeful that once people start understanding how we have all been stigmatizing people who use drugs, that maybe our system will catch up with that,” Macy told NPR
The show however does seek to dramatize how members of the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma, aided by lax regulations, pushing OxyContin onto the public starting in the 1990s.
OxyConti’s introduction is now viewed as the starting factor of the opioid epidemic – which has killed over 500,000 people worldwide and addicted millions.
The family have said they bear no responsibility for the crisis and are likely never to face trial.
They did however own up to the sweeping protections built into a bankruptcy settlement that dissolved Purdue Pharma last month.
The $4.5 billion settlement made the timing of the new series all the more important to the producers.
The series ventures into a four-year drug investigation behind that report, which is led by the group of federal prosecutors (played by John Hoogenakker, Jake McDorman and Peter Sarsgaard) and a frustrated Drug Enforcement Administration agent (Rosario Dawson).
The producers say that doing a scripted piece allowed them to have a “unique advantage” of allowing the viewers to actually be in the room with the Purdue executives while they are discussing their marketing campaign.
While it’s not word for word, the scene is built from mountains of existing evidence and research.
Speaking to Rotten Tomatoes, creator Danny Strong revealed his intentions for the series: “I thought if you’ve combined the crime story and the people gathering evidence — and the suspense and tension that comes with that — with the tragedy of addiction of the opioid crisis and paid homage to the victims, and you intertwined at all, it can be quite moving, quite powerful.”
Where can I watch it?
The first three episodes of the eight-episode series were released on October 13, 2021, on Hulu.
The series’ subsequent five episodes will stream weekly on Wednesdays.