Ed Bisch didn’t set out to become an activist. He was pulled into it by grief.
Mr. Bisch has become one of the most well-known opioid addiction activists, stemming from the tragic loss of his son Eddie in 2001 from an OxyContin overdose. He has been featured in the New York Times, and most recently appeared with TV’s Dopesick Creator Danny Strong on CNN and at a rally in Washington, DC. Bisch’s story is one of profound loss in the crashing wake of the American OxyContin epidemic.
This father lost his son to opioids — now he’s calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue an investigation and criminal charges against members of the Sackler family, none of whom have been charged with any crime @Dannystrong and @ejb1893 discuss pic.twitter.com/FDEnrCO3EX
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) December 4, 2021
Ed spoke with Addiction Guide’s Founder Chris Carberg to discuss how he unwittingly became an advocate for the millions of innocent victims of the opioid epidemic.
Q: What was your exposure or knowledge of prescription drug addiction prior to your son’s passing?
Ed Bisch: I was oblivious as I was a normal person that when I went to a doctor if he prescribed something I would take it as directed.
I was luckily never prescribed opioids but if I was I would have just listened to my doctor but who knows what it could have led to.
Q: What is the most common misunderstanding that parents have about their children and the dangers of these substances?
Ed Bisch: In 2001 when Eddie passed I had no idea kids were popping pills. I used to sneak some beers as a teen but the power of OxyContin changed that game.
Now today, a lot of pills are counterfeits and made with fentanyl which has also become a deadly game changer.
Q: What do you think is the best way to stop this epidemic?
Ed Bisch: I wish I knew, as far as overprescribing the CDC really stepped up with revised guidelines in 2016 so today most deaths are now from counterfeit pills all over the streets.
Securing our southern border would help immensely with cutting the supply and stopping the precursor chemicals from China but it is a political nightmare to even bring it up.
Q: You recently appeared with Danny Strong, how much did the miniseries Dopesick capture your experiences?
Ed Bisch: Dopesick which ran on HULU is spot-on. I knew it would be good since Beth Macy (author of the book Dopesick) was involved but it exceeded my wildest expectations with how they told the whole story through masterful writing by Beth and Danny.
Note: Actor Michael Keaton has received a Golden Globe for his work as Dr. Samuel Finnix on Dopesick.
Q: What are the three most important actions that need to be taken to hold people accountable for the careless proliferation of these drugs?
Ed Bisch: (1) The architects of this man-made epidemic need to face justice and it is well documented it started with the launch of OxyContin. (2) Quicker shutting down and prosecution of pill mills needs to happen, Sometimes they’ll surveil a pill mill for a year, and all the time hundreds of thousands of pills hit the streets. (3) Secure the border and pressure China to crack down on the precursor chemical suppliers.
Q: What do you say to people who claim that medications are necessary for people in severe pain? How do we take meaningful actions to protect innocent lives while not punishing people battling real pain?
Ed Bisch: The question is the answer. If OxyContin was properly classified for Severe Pain only we would not be in this crisis but GREED and pushing for all types of pain caused the epidemic and people need to realize this was all caused by Purdue Pharma.
Severe pain patients should have access though newer studies now question long-term use of opioids due to tolerance and the weakening of the patient’s natural pain blockers called Hyperalgesia.
Q: What do you believe is the most dangerous new or growing drug on the horizon?
Ed Bisch: Fentanyl poisoinings from fake pills is now the #1 killer. Almost all heroin now is cut with fentanyl because it is cheaper and easier to smuggle and it’s made in a lab.
Q: How can parents be more vigilant and educate their children on the dangers of substance abuse?
Ed Bisch: OnePillKills is a media campaign started by parents who lost kids to fentanyl poisoning and parents need to have a hard talk with their kids about this. It truly is deadlier than ever for experimenting teens.
Note: OnePillKills is different than One Pill Can Kill, which is managed by the DEA.
Q: How can people support you and your cause?
Ed Bisch: To avoid the NEXT man-made drug epidemic we need accountability. The DOJ recently announced they are going to prosecute white collar criminals so I urge people to send the DOJ an email.
The crimes of Purdue Pharma and their owners who I call the Sackler Cartel are well documented in thousands of news articles, books and documentaries. The DOJ has the evidence they just have to use it.
Q: Do you have any upcoming events that people can participate in?
Ed Bisch: Right now it is ask the DOJ to do their job to protect the public and prosecute, so please email them via their website. **CALL4JUSTICE** to send an email to Attorney General Garland please click below and select for topic: Messages to the Attorney General – Please tell him your story and that his office needs to follow the money and continue investigating the Purdue Pharma case!
Please follow me on Twitter @EJB1893 or follow Relatives Against Purdue Pharma RAPP page on Facebook for news and updates.
The entire Addiction Guide team thanks Ed for joining us today to share his experiences and help spread the word.
We also want to remember the meaningful life of Eddie Bisch, whose loss is still felt today.
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