My Celebrity Life

Dopesick: Is the new Disney Plus show based on a true story?

My Celebrity Life –
Dopesick dropped its first two episodes today on Disney Plus (Picture: Disney Plus/Hulu)

Dopesick released its first two episodes today to Disney Plus, but many viewers will want to know, is the show is based on a true story?

The highly anticipated drama, starring Michael Keaton, Will Poulter, and Kaitlyn Dever, tells the story of the American opioid crisis in the 1990s, which left thousands addicted to prescription painkiller OxyContin.

The series will follow how the drug, which was brought onto the market after being developed by a company called Purdue Pharma, affected the lives of so many with disastrous consequences.

But with the programme using some characters based on real events, here’s all you need to know about whether Dopesick is based on a true story.

Is Dopesick based on a true story?

The story of the Disney Plus and Hulu series is actually mostly true, with creator Danny Strong heavily basing it on the book titled Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, by Beth Macy.

Journalist Macy has reported extensively on the opioid crisis in the past, focusing on how it impacted those living in the Appalachian Mountains region of the USA.

When putting together her 2018 book, she spoke to many people who were impacted by OxyContin.

My Celebrity Life –
Dr Samuel Finnix is shaped by the experiences of various medical professionals (Picture: Disney Plus/Hulu)

This included survivors of the drug, medical professionals, and family members of those who lost their lives because of their addiction.

Beth was approached by various production companies to adapt the non-fiction book and settled on Danny, who was also looking to work on a similar project, with fellow screenwriter Benjamin Rubin.

Danny and Benjamin previously teamed up when writing Empire and wanted Beth on board to ensure the drama felt authentic.

Beth previously emphasised at a recent Twitter Spaces event how important it was to keep the story as true to those who lived it as possible.

My Celebrity Life –
Michael Stuhlbarg plays Purdue Pharma’s former President Richard Sackler (Picture: Disney Plus/Hulu)

Beth said: ‘We were documenting the crimes of Purdue Pharma, the show needed to feel as real as possible.

‘The biggest difference from book to screen is in the characters, while some of them are based on real people like Michael Stuhlbarg’s Richard Sackler is Purdue Pharma’s former President, others are works of fiction.’

So whilst some characters – such as the Sackler family members – are based on their real-life namesakes, others are not.

For example, some of those featured are based more on stories Beth was told through writing her book.

Michael Keaton’s character, Dr Samuel Finnix, is not based on a specific doctor but the product of Beth’s discussions with various medical experts about their experiences.

My Celebrity Life –
Kaitlyn Dever plays young miner Betsy (Picture: Disney Plus/Hulu)

Showrunner Danny told the narrative through a snippet of different timelines through several years in the 1990s up until 2002, to ensure he explored all aspects of what happened.

He said: ‘I wanted to tell the story of the prosecutors bringing the case, I wanted to tell the story of the DEA (Drugs Enforcement Agency) and I wanted to tell the story of Purdue Pharma, and the victims and the origin.

They all took place in different time periods, so if I had made it a linear story, the prosecutors in the US Attorney, they wouldn’t have shown up till Episode Seven, because that was 2002.

Rosario Dawson’s character [DEA agent Bridget Meyer] probably wouldn’t have come into episode four or five, so to do this, to do all the stories, which I thought would absolutely be the most powerful way to dramatise the event.

‘I was sort of kind of stuck with this narrative device, then I thought it could be an advantage I thought it could sort of turn the piece into this giant puzzle that’s unfolding in different time periods and get into mystery.’

When does Dopesick come out?

Viewers are in for a treat as the show’s first two episodes dropped today, Friday, November 12, to coincide with Disney Plus Day.

Dopesick will be available for fans to stream weekly via Disney Plus, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.

Following this, a new installment will be released every Wednesday, beginning Wednesday, November 17, with the remaining six episodes following suit each week.

Dopesick episodes 1 and 2 premiered on Friday, November 12 on Disney Plus, with episodes released weekly from Wednesday, November 17.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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