Five episode Mini-Series DOPESICK arrives on Disney+ right in time for Disney+ Day. Based on the Book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy, the Series by Danny Strong recounts the Opioid Crisis that began in the ’90s as Americans were misled down the path that a new-to-market prescription pain medication OxyContin. was not addictive with its delayed release. Subsequent to that, we see the impacts as doctors are incentivized to prescribe this to their patients, and then the impacts on communities with a surge in associated addictions and deaths.
Michael Keaton (who serves also as Executive Producer), stars as Dr. Samuel Finnix at the center of the story, who despite showing reluctance to embrace narcotics for pain, begins prescribing it to his patients. He then begins to question its safety and finds himself in a real dilemma of accountability. We fast-forward about ten years and meet two lawyers, Rick Mountcastle (Peter Sarsgaard) and Randy Ramseyer (John Hoogenakker) begin to launch an investigation into Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin after it leaves a trail of devastation among its users.
We also meet Bridget Meyer (Rosario Dawson), the highest-ranking woman at the Drug Enforcement Administration. The story cuts back in time as we see her marriage dissolve from a once-happy place. We witness her ordeal with sexism in her work, as Dawson delivers us a rich performance here. Most affecting is Betsy Mallum (Kaitlyn Dever) who really brings to life what it meant to be a promising young woman who worked in the mines, getting injured, coping with pain and then becoming addicted to OxyContin. Her battle halts her plans for a new beginning with her girlfriend, with her family being unsupportive of her being a Lesbian.
DOPESICK looks at an important issue which still impacts us today, but does it with a fresh lens and what it meant to those key players surrounding the crisis. Deeply-enthralling, DOPESICK is meant to be difficult to watch, meaning it has succeeded in its intentions.
Disney+ premieres DOPESICK November 12, 2021.