Premiered yesterday, Thursday (10), a new Netflix original miniseries that, by all indications, will give a lot to talk about due to its controversial theme. We are referring to Império da Dor (Painkiller, in the original), a work created by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster and which features Matthew Broderick (himself, Ferris Bueller from Curtindo a Vida Adoidado), Uzo Aduba, Clark Gregg and Taylor Kitsch in the main cast.
With 6 episodes in total, Império da Dor explores a real story, focused on the health crisis linked to opioids that devastated the United States and other regions of the world. “This drama about the causes and consequences of America’s opioid epidemic follows culprits, victims and an investigator in search of the truth,” says the official production synopsis on the IMDb website.
But what are the facts connected to the crisis involving opioids? Does Empire of Pain really faithfully adapt the story or just draw inspiration from it? Find out everything below!
Is Empire of Pain inspired by facts?
According to Eric Newman, executive producer of Empire of Pain, the series retells the facts of the North American health crisis, focusing on its origins and consequences. In the words of the work’s director, Peter Berg, the title is “the origin story of the collision between medicine and money that allowed the crisis to happen”.
In this sense, Empire of Pain takes us directly to the beginning of the 1990s, when the true opioid crisis began in the United States. At the time, the outbreak spread rapidly as more and more people found themselves addicted to a substance called OxyContin, a powerful pain reliever created by the pharmaceutical industry.
The real history of the situation shows that about 1 million US citizens died from opioid addiction and millions more were trapped in the substances, which were sold as simple remedies in virtually any pharmacy. During the period in question, there was much debate about the lack of regulation of the pharmaceutical and health industries, which would have allowed them to produce opioids, disseminate them and sell them easily.
In short, many pointed to these industries and the US government as the main culprits, since they ended up profiting a lot from the health crisis, however inhumane that may seem. The opioid epidemic lasted for almost two decades and still has serious consequences, posing a threat not only to the health of the population, but also to the economy and security of the country.