Photographer Nan Goldin’s personal struggles with drugs is well documented (not least by herself), now she has created the campaign, P.A.I.N (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), in hope to draw attention to prescription addiction and shame the pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family.
Last Saturday, Goldin and around 100 fellow demonstrators took to the Metropolitan Museum in New York to protest sponsorship by the Sackler, throwing pill bottles in the Temple of Dendur pool and holding banners, one reading “FUND REHAB,” the other “SHAME ON SACKLER.” (via New York Times)
Having recently recovered from a near-fatal addiction to OxyContin, Goldin led the protest. Emerging from a relapse, at Massachusetts rehab facility last March, she began researching into Oxycontin and immediately became aware of the link between this and the current opioid crisis in the US. Although this drug is legal it is a more concentrated, chemical version of morphine or heroine and misuse can often result in overdose, such as that which killed Prince in 2016.
“The first time I got a ‘scrip it was 40 milligrams and it was too strong for me; they made me nauseated and dulled. By the end, I was on 450mg a day,” Goldin said.
After staying clean for nearly a year she understands the agonising difficulty of “getting off drugs and staying off drugs”. Calling herself one of the “fortunate ones” who could afford an “excellent hospital” – something not feasible for many – Golding hopes that P.A.I.N will hold the Sackler family accountable for their actions whilst asking them to fund Oxycontin addiction and treatment in education.