Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx appeared on MSNBC’s The Beat yesterday (Aug. 29) to speak about the growing opioid epidemic in the United States.

A landmark ruling recently took place, with a judge ordering opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million to the state of Oklahoma. Johnson & Johnson was found to have intentionally downplayed the risks of opioid addiction, fueling the state’s pill crisis. Additionally, Purdue Pharma (the makers of Oxycontin) are in talks to offer $10-$12 billion to settle over 2,000 lawsuits related to addiction.

According to MSNBC, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports 2.6 million Americans are currently addicted to opioids. That’s nearly one percent of the entire United States’ population.

"This is a fantastic ruling in my opinion, but the question is 'what's going to happen with the money?' Sixx asks host Ari Melber. “I hope that it's used for organizations to help with treatment facilities and to help, also, erase the stigma of addiction."

“A lot of these people backed into [this addiction],” Sixx adds. “They were overprescribed by doctors and that was being supported by the pharmaceutical companies. Now what happens once we get them into treatment and then we re-enter them into society? … Addiction is horrible, but suffering in silence is worse.”

Nikki Sixx also shares his personal use of painkillers as a recovering addict. “I just had my right shoulder reconstructed from years of performing and for six days, I had to take pain medication to get through that. I was prescribed that, I took it for the right reasons and then I got off of it. There are purposes for it, but if doctors are overprescribing and they just keep giving and giving and the pharmaceutical companies aren’t being honest about how addictive these pills are, this epidemic is just gonna keep getting worse and worse and worse.”

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