As their impact grows across the spectrum, stories that highlight the growing threat of prescription drug abuse will inspire more interesting content in years to come.
Raveena Tandon in Aranyak
Aranyak, Raveena Tandon’s new crime drama on Netflix India, uses a nuance of drug trafficking and abuse in its fast-paced, hectic story. The man-leopard, serial murders and corruption are at the origin of its many twists; but drugs mark the characters as well as the key motives of this thriller.
Rohan Sippy, who co-wrote (with Charudutt Acharya) and co-produced the series (with Sidharth Roy Kapur), is no stranger to drug stories. His cinema, Dum maaro dum (2011), was among the first to identify an increase in drug abuse in Goa, the party capital of India.
The series depends on tropes like drugs which can lead to crimes against women; but their presence is not in your face in this story. It is the errors of judgment that define the womb for privileged children and the harmful and overwhelming influence on a mother. They are also planned as a big draw for a future vacation spot in the hills. And a drug lord holds the key to the ultimate secret.
Aranyak highlights a common truth in the holiday circuit in India today: There is very little fun for many people to be had without banned substances like Quaaludes, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs. By using drugs to define the erratic behaviors of his characters, he underlines their recurring presence in the social life of our country.
The role of drugs in defining entertaining web series has expanded this year. 2021 has seen landmark stories highlighting the fact that rampant and continued drug abuse, especially prescription drug abuse, has changed the fabric of society in many places. Their impact on the United States is at the center of Sick and American rust.
Danny Strong, actor, producer and screenwriter of Sick, is on a mission to end opioid abuse in the United States, especially in small, working-class towns where the drug, Oxycontin, has wreaked havoc for nearly 20 years. Strong researched and targeted the cold profit motive that drove the manufacture and sale of this drug for the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma. Sponsors of expensive works of art in the world’s largest museums, the family has faced Congressional hearings and legal inquiries. But no one went to jail. And Oxycontin is still available, but with tighter and tighter legislation. The journey, from being marketed and consumed as a miracle cure for pain by the work of mines and farms to becoming reported in the media and the medical fraternity as dangerously addictive, has been slow and painful. It is littered with corruption from government agencies and those who have died using drugs. Strong’s show, with stars Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, Micheal Stuhlburg, John Hoogenaker and Peter Saarsgard, carries a tone of outrage and anger from start to finish. Opioids are prescription drugs. They are also more addictive than cocaine and heroin. And it’s been left to a fiction series to tell the world this ugly truth.
American rust, a drama starring Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney, uses economic desperation, unemployment and an unresolved opioid addiction in the country’s rust belt to show how a society and its young people can collapse. Dan Futterman (writer of Capote, the impending tower) uses the convenient availability of opioids to make her story easy to understand.
Watch this series recalls Easttown mare, where the theme of opioid consumption and addiction marked the choices made by its characters with generosity. The drugs that Mare’s son (Kate Winslet) falls for are not harsh, but an extension of pain and anxiety management. His girlfriend, drug addict and mother, cannot shake off her addiction despite seeking treatment.
These shows make a relevant point that has echoed in premium American journalism for nearly a decade. Prescription drug and opioid addicts don’t necessarily seek to get high.
They either fall prey to the doctors’ treatments, or they take one because it is so easy to obtain and become addicted for life. This is a generalized social malaise and not isolated cases of addiction fueled by young people.
Beyond a well-executed and powerfully narrated web series, Netflix had published a one-father fight to bring his deceased son to justice in 2020. The pharmacist shed light on just how widespread the use and abuse of Oxycontin has become in the United States. He was telling a sordid tale of profiting from people. It may have inspired writers to take a closer look at the changing realities of drug abuse.
Here in India, those who can afford it abuse prescription drugs. In Oudta Punjab (2016), a rare film that has taken a critical look at drug use, the doctor character (Kareena Kapoor Khan) berates a policeman (Diljit Dosanjh) that very potent drugs, used to treat cancer and terminal pain, are consumed during of parties. Recently, High, a web series on MXPlayer, focused on the market impact of a single miracle pill on the drug trade in our country.
Prescription drugs entered the holiday circuit in India some time ago. In fact, opioids are now regulated much more loosely in our country. Party raids by government agencies of the rich and famous almost always find stocks of opioids and similar prescription drugs. In fact, Purdue Pharma sells a popular opioid binubebrofen in India as part of its global subsidiary and Indian joint venture Modi-Mundipharma. Pain clinics are proliferating in metropolitan cities. Their increased use by doctors and patients has made it much easier to capture these drugs through lucrative illegal means.
The changing nature of drug use has given us excellent visibility this year. As their impact grows across the spectrum, from buyers, users, sellers, and law enforcement, stories that highlight the growing threat of prescription drug abuse will inspire content. more interesting in the years to come.