Is Heroin the pharmaceutical industry’s “new best friend?”

marianne photo 1Every day I receive emails from families losing their children and loved ones to heroin. 

Marianne Skolek Global News Centre

(MYRTLE BEACH)  In April 2002, my daughter Jill was killed by prescribed OxyContin and Purdue Pharma’s marketing lies.  I set out to learn everything I could about Purdue Pharma to expose their lies.  If you follow my articles about the corruption of the FDA and the Purdue Pharmas in and you will see that I have accomplished those goals.  

Anyone living day to day worrying if their child will die because of their use of heroin, I ask that you read the attached article written in 2001 when my small town in New Jersey was hit with a “new best friend” — heroin.  Every day I receive emails from families losing their children and loved ones to heroin.  I know many people living the nightmare of heroin receive support on-line from other families experiencing similar horror stories.  I applaud your helping each other, but if I may, I would like to offer some advice as regards the 2001 article written about me:

Mothers against heroin

Group fighting narcotic epidemic:  Readington woman wants to help stop deaths from overdoses.
READINGTON  One article about heroin in Hunterdon County became two, and then three and four and then five.
Pretty soon, Marianne Skolek of the Whitehouse Station section became shaken by what she was reading.
Skolek, who has a teenage son, said she saw drugs moving into her county like a silent plague - imperceptible until it strikes.
“It’s in our back yard and that’s what got me very concerned because there’s no way of telling a kid is on it,” she said.  “I started reading too much in Hunterdon County that got me concerned.”
There’s good reason for Soklek to worry.  Deaths resulting from drug overdoses have been on the rise, authorities said.  In 2000, one person died from an overdose; six months into 2001, six people died, and 90 percent of those deaths involved heroid, Lt. Ken Harding of the narcotics unit of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office said.
With outrage and concern as her motivators, Skolek began investigating what leads children to take heroin.  In March she started a group, “The New Best Friend,” hoping to copy the success of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Although she avoids calling it a support group, Skolek and other mothers talk about the evis of heroin and how they can better assert themselves before another child’s name shows up in a story about a heroin overdose.
Twelve mothers, including one whose child died from an overdose, are regular members.  The women are from Somerset and Hunterdon C0unties.  While the group moves through its infancy, the mothers stay in touch over the phone.
“If mothers could do so much in the country with MADD, mothers should be able to band together and do something about the heroin epidemic,” Skolek said.
Counselors said they have seen a steady increase in teen-agers coming for help.  Sue Morrow, the director of the Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program, said heroin use had been chronic in the state, nut not so in Hunterdon County.  Ten years ago, during the crack epidemic, more and more people took heroin to counterbalance the high they were getting off crack.
Of late, she has seen teen-agers, fitting no particular stereotype, coming through her doors.  Some come from two parent families and are athletes and good students. she pointed to an “upsurge in heroin use in our county.”
One alarming sign was the increased demand for drug counseling services.  She said 60 people are on a waiting list to enter the program; in October, there were none.
The Flemington-based group offers a variety of treatment and prevention programs.
Signs of drug use among children are never clear-cut.  Still, the Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program said 21 signs for parents to monitor include bloodshot eyes, needle tracks on their child’s body, a change in friends and financial problems - either borrowing money or having a “sudden excess” of it.
Part of Skolek’s goal is to make parents see that the drug problem is not far away but within their communities.  “The New Best Friend” is an ironic title.  Skolek sais, because it refers not to the best friend a child is going off with but heroin.  She calls pushers who entice teen-agers at parties “Jerry and Maria.”  She created the names to correspond to people who live not in inner city, but within a child’s community and lure him or her into a life of heroin.
In talking with parents of heroin users, Skokel said she ahs found that most parents are apathetic.  Parents often do not check out who their children’s friends are or what occurs at a sleepover.
Authorities said teens go out of Hunterdon COunty to buy drugs.  Harding said favorite locales are Newark, Philadelphia and Allentown, Pa.
But Skolek said mothers told her that kids get drugs in Hunterdon County, be it in high school or elsewhere.  Armed with enough money to see a movie, they can buy a bag of heroin, she said.  “Ten dollars can kill a child.”
I had a teenage son at home and was petrified that he would fall in with the wrong crowd and be exposed to heroin.  The first thing I did was go to the police station and met with our police chief — Jim.  He became my ally and my friend.
I then went to the county prosecutor’s office and met with him and his investigators and asked what they were doing to end heroin from destroying our town.  They told me their hands were tied unless they knew where the heroin was coming from.  That was easy — it was coming from our local family pizza restaurant — very likeable owner — but “the dealer.”  I then found out that “the dealer” was giving the heroin to a couple living on a dirt road in town named Jerry and Maria.  Notice I mentioned them by name in the 2001 article — I did it for a reason.  They needed to be out of our town.
It didn’t end there.  I went to Jerry and Maria’s house one night when I saw kids going in their front door.  I sat in the driveway and put my bright lights in their windows.  They didn’t like it.  I called the police and told them that kids were going into Jerry and Maria’s house and I knew that’s where the heroin was.  The police said they couldn’t do anything — something about harassment.  I ended the conversation with — “Give me 10 minutes and I will give you reason to come to their house.”  In a short time, two police cars arrived and kids ran from the house.
Oh and Jerry and Maria moved out of state shortly thereafter.  The landlord holding the lease for the pizza restaurant canceled it — said something about “if the police had their hands tied, he didn’t.”  The owner of the pizza restaurant died by his own poison a couple of years later.  Not before our mayor’s son, a young soldier just getting out of the service, committed suicide because Jerry and Maria had introduced him to their “new best friend.”
The support group I started in the community met once a week at a diner to “brainstorm”.  We were not going to sit back and not be heard — they were heroes because they were heard.  One of the women I will never forget overheard her son making a drug deal for heroin in New York City with a man named “Lucky.”  This woman got in her car - never said a word to her husband - and drove to the street where the drug dealer was going to meet her son.  She pulled up at the corner and rolled down her window and called out “I’m looking for Lucky.”  A man came over to her car and said “I’m Lucky.”  She replied — “You won’t be lucky if you ever contact or see my son Christopher again.”  She meant it.
Less than a year later, my daughter Jill died. Correlation between opioids and heroin, I believe very much so.  Therefore, my focus in 2015 will also encompass the generation of young people we are losing in addiction and death every day to heroin.  In addition, our heroes coming back home from serving overseas are being treated at V.A. hospitals all over the country with massive amounts of opioids.  Some V.A. hospitals are even referred to as “Candy Land.”  In the coming weeks, I will be writing stories of some of these heroes who were killed from the over-prescribing of opioids at V.A. hospitals, the physicians responsible for convincing the medical profession that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is best treated by opioids and the books written by the medical profession sponsored by pharma.
The attached photo showing the heartbroken dad looking into the casket of his dead son has been repeated thousands and thousands of times.  It has to stop.
LP - Pineapple in a heavy metal room — who would have thought?  Love you - the faith - the peace - the laughter - and the popcorn.


skolek-new-photo-700Global News Centre’s Marianne Skolek, is an Investigative Reporter who focuses on the Prescription Opioid/Heroin Epidemic in the U.S. and Canada. In particular, Marianne has covered the criminal marketing of OxyContin going back to 1999 and continuing to the present.

In 2002, Marianne lost her daughter, Jill to prescribed OxyContin which her physician referred to as “mobility in a bottle.” It was, in fact, death in a bottle. After doing extensive research on the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, Marianne began working with the Department of Justice in Virginia in their criminal investigation into Purdue Pharma and in July 2007 was asked by the U.S. Attorney John Brownlee prosecuting the case to testify against the three CEO’s of Purdue Pharma, Michael Friedman, Paul Goldenheim, MD and Howard Udell, Chief Counsel. The CEO’s pleaded guilty to misleading the medical profession about the dangers of OxyContin. Marianne also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007.

In addition, a dangerous and highly addictive opioid named Zohydro has been approved by the FDA against their Advisory Committee’s advice and Marianne continues to alert Attorneys General, Senators and Congressmen as to the FDA’s irresponsibility in the out of control prescription opioid/heroin epidemic killing and addicting in the tens of thousands each year. Zohydro has been referred to as “heroin in a capsule” and its lowest dosage (10mg) contains twice as much hydrocodone as found in a Vicodin pill. The highest single dose of Zohydro contains as much hydrocodone as 5 to 10 tablets of Vicodin or Lortab. Zohydro mixed with alcohol can be fatal and has no abuse deterrent built in which will make it easy to crush and deliver a fatal dose of the opioid.

Currently Marianne has been instrumental in calling for the termination of Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner of the FDA as well as Bob A. Rappaport, MD and Douglas Throckmorton, MD for their lack of commitment to safeguarding the American public against the prescription opioid/heroin epidemic. Marianne’s research, writing and contact with government agencies and attorneys has also exposed the heavily funded pain foundations set up by the pharmaceutical industry and their paid physician spokespersons who convinced the medical boards in 50 states and Canada that dangerous opioids such as OxyContin were less likely to be addictive. These physicians — in particular Scott Fishman, MD, J. David Haddox, DDS, MD, Perry Fine, MD, Lynn R. Webster, MD, Russell Portenoy, MD also downplayed the risks of addictive opioids in books as authors. These books are still available for sale and promoted to the medical profession.

Here are links to Marianne’s involvement in exposing the national conspiracy of the prescription opioid/heroin epidemic, the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, their pain foundations and paid physician spokespersons.

- See more at:

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