April 14, 2021 – “Nobody wants their child’s life defined in one moment of a bad decision,” Ms. Whyte said. “My daughter was more than one night, more than an overdose. She was defined by 23 years of greatness to my family.”

While we planned David’s funeral, Christmas lights began to blink awake throughout the neighborhood, and new reporting in The Times that week cast light on the nature of the crisis that killed him. McKinsey & Company, the prestigious consulting firm that helped Purdue Pharma “turbocharge” opiate sales, had proposed awarding Purdue’s distributors with a rebate for every OxyContin overdose, as a way to maintain sales. Earlier reports revealed that McKinsey had strategized how “to counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed.”

The heinous documents confirmed that so much about this crisis was manufactured. There is no amount of money the odious Sackler family can throw around to counter the emotion here. Especially because these days, things are worse than ever, since heroin has been largely edged out by the far more lethal fentanyl. It’s difficult to even find a block in North Philadelphia that sells just heroin anymore; even cocaine is being cut with fentanyl.

The drug has closed the door to many hoping for a path back to their lives. David presciently said of fentanyl, before the drug turned up on his own autopsy report, “It’s much harder to get off of, because it’s so much stronger, and much easier to overdose on, too.”


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