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Nan Goldin Joins Medical Students to Demand Action on Opioid Crisis

In recent years, billionaire pharmaceutical executives and hedge fund managers have made billions in profit by creating, feeding, and treating a crisis of opioid addiction in the United States. As the opioid crisis has turned into a full-blown national public health epidemic, CPD’s Opioid Network, in partnership with Hedge Clippers and P.A.I.N., continue to take action and address the current overdose crisis. On July 20, as part of an ongoing series of protests to target notorious profiteers for their role in perpetuating the opioid epidemic, CPD joined photographer Nan Goldin and her advocacy group P.A.I.N., Harvard medical students, and other activists and allies for a protest at the Harvard Sackler Art Museum.

In addition to medical students and physicians from Boston and New York, protestors were joined by several advocacy groups representing people who use drugs and who have been directly affected by the crisis. The action was organized by Harvard medical students and CPD’s Opioid Network, a group of more than 45 grassroots organizations representing communities who have been most affected by the crisis, in states ranging from West Virginia to Arkansas. The network, launched late last year and has organized local rallies and town halls taking elected officials to task for their inaction in the face of the crisis. This action was covered in local outlets including the Boston Globe, WBUR, Harvard Crimson, MetroWest Daily, ARTNews, and The Daily Caller.

This action is the fourth of its kind to target art galleries and schools named after the Sackler family, who founded Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Purdue created Oxycontin and facilitated a crisis by aggressively marketing the drug as a treatment "to start with and to stay with." To maximize profit, they knowingly buried concerns about the medication’s risk of dependence and misuse. Given the enormous wealth, standing, and prestige the Sackler family has made from its sales, protestors are demanding action from the family to address the epidemic -- namely, by investing in harm reduction tools like Narcan and Safe Injection Facilities, as well as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Please donate today to support CPD’s Opioid Network in standing firm that the provision for more and better healthcare is the only effective solution to the opioid crisis.