They’re Here To Stay –
June 15, 2019 – As a health-care lawyer, Nelson has had a particularly good perspective on the opioid epidemic that’s decimated the country in the past 20 years. He’s represented drug-treatment programs reeling from patient overdoses, doctors who have prescribed opioids and caused overdoses, those who have refused to provide pills to patients, as well as those who have become addicted to pills themselves. After a breakup in 2008, a cousin gave Ashlee Krichmar, then 20, a Percocet. She’d never much liked them in the past — they made her sick — but that day the college student majoring in business management took the pill. “It numbed all the emotions I was having at the time, so I didn’t have to feel anything,” Krichmar says. That was in March. Three months later, she was fully addicted, taking 20 pills a day. Over the next three and a half years, she would be in and out of a dozen rehabs. She went to a treatment center in Florida, but all that happened there, she says, was that she got a lot of good leads on people back in New Jersey with good drugs. In 2011, she called a friend she met at rehab and asked for some “Roxys” as she calls OxyContin. “I can do better than that,” the friend said and injected her with heroin. That night, Krichmar went home with a bag of heroin and some needles. She looked up how to shoot up on YouTube.