MOVIE NEWS – Stephen King has praised Netflix’s new series Painkiller, while the legendary author also mentioned his own severe and tragic accident in 1999.
Renowned author Stephen King opened up about his 1999 accident to praise Netflix’s Painkiller. The six-episode Netflix show focuses on Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin. Painkiller, which paints Purdue Pharma as the world’s largest drug trafficker, takes an in-depth look at the company’s legacy and its influence on the opioid crisis. King had his own experience with OxyContin after his 1999 car accident.
King posted on Twitter about his experiences with OxyContin and his relationship with Purdue Pharma and Painkiller.
Although the author does not reveal too many details about his experiences with OxyContin, he links the series story to his personal life. He specifically mentioned his accident in 1999. King explains that his doctors offered him OxyContin to help him recover. King almost died; he was so addicted to the drug. The tragic experience made the series extremely relatable for the legendary author.
Why the portrayal of the opioid crisis in Painkiller is important
Although Glen Kryger is a fictional character in the series, many of the stories are based on actual events. For example, the Netflix drama is a stark reminder of the accident on 19 June 1999 that changed King’s life. During a walk in Maine, King was hit by a van. He almost died. He suffered numerous injuries, including broken legs and hips, collapsed lungs and severe scalp lacerations. Doctors nearly amputated King’s leg before deciding to give him time to heal. King eventually recovered, though apparently not without doctors suggesting he take OxyContin.
OxyContin is still prescribed today. Purdue Pharma stopped marketing it directly to doctors to no avail after several lawsuits were filed against it. At the time of King’s accident, however, it was marketed as a safe painkiller with few consequences. In reality, it was a drug with addictive properties.
King’s experience is just one of countless stories of OxyContin nearly killing or fatally injuring people who were looking for nothing more than a way to relieve pain.
Alongside Hulu’s Dopesick, the Netflix series tells an emotional story about the effects of the opioid crisis and the actions of those behind it. The series depicts the Sackler family, who run Purdue Pharma, but the events are fictional. Stephen King’s praise of the series is even more profound because they are rooted in his real-life experiences with lethal drugs.
PAINKILLER (Netflix): After getting smashed up in 1999, the docs said, "We have this wonderful new drug for pain called OxyContin. You'll like it." Like it? I loved it. Almost to death. I could relate to everything in that series.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 10, 2023