There are many reasons that we find ourselves in this mess with regards to the opioid crisis in this country. This song explores just a few of them. But blaming the victims, ignoring those with chronic pain, and stigmatizing addiction as a moral failing are the WRONG answers.

Please share this video with those you care about, and join the Health 3.0 movement to discuss how we can do better. And thanks to everyone who donated on my Patreon page to make this video a reality!

I first dropped a demo of this LIVE on Facebook, check it out below!

A parody of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”

Lyrics and performance by ZDoggMD.
Audio engineering by the legendary Devin Moore.
Directed by Tom Hinueber.
Director of Photography was Logan Stewart.
Shot on location at Turntable Health in Downtown Las Vegas.

Starring:
ZDoggMD as Himself
Allison Andersen as “The Nurse Practitioner” (she’s an APRN!)
Dr. Christine Estrada as “The Administrator”
Stephanie Lapid RN as “The Nurse”
and starring Reagan Pfifer as “The Addict.”

Thanks to the whole crew at Variables of Light.

Copied below is a call to action for caregivers everywhere:

LETTER FROM THE SURGEON GENERAL

Dear Colleague,

I am asking for your help to solve an urgent health crisis facing America: the opioid epidemic. Everywhere I travel, I see communities devastated by opioid overdoses. I meet families too ashamed to seek treatment for addiction. And I will never forget my own patient whose opioid use disorder began with a course of morphine after a routine procedure.

It is important to recognize that we arrived at this place on a path paved with good intentions. Nearly two decades ago, we were encouraged to be more aggressive about treating pain, often without enough training and support to do so safely. This coincided with heavy marketing of opioids to doctors. Many of us were even taught – incorrectly – that opioids are not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain.

The results have been devastating. Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled and opioid prescriptions have increased markedly – almost enough for every adult in America to have a bottle of pills. Yet the amount of pain reported by Americans has not changed. Now, nearly 2 million people in America have a prescription opioid use disorder, contributing to increased heroin use and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.

I know solving this problem will not be easy. We often struggle to balance reducing our patients’ pain with increasing their risk of opioid addiction. But, as clinicians, we have the unique power to help end this epidemic. As cynical as times may seem, the public still looks to our profession for hope during difficult moments. This is one of those times.

That is why I am asking you to pledge your commitment to turn the tide on the opioid crisis. Please take the pledge. Together, we will build a national movement of clinicians to do three things:

First, we will educate ourselves to treat pain safely and effectively. A good place to start is the TurnTheTideRx pocket guide with the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline. Second, we will screen our patients for opioid use disorder and provide or connect them with evidence-based treatment. Third, we can shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by talking about and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.

Years from now, I want us to look back and know that, in the face of a crisis that threatened our nation, it was our profession that stepped up and led the way. I know we can succeed because health care is more than an occupation to us. It is a calling rooted in empathy, science, and service to humanity. These values unite us. They remain our greatest strength.

Thank you for your leadership.

signatureVivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.
19th U.S. Surgeon General

For all the times that I gave you my help

And still you turned around and dissed me on Yelp

You say you lost your pain meds, girl please what the health?

You never lose your script for lisinopril!

And I didn’t wanna write a song, cause I didn’t want anyone thinking I was breaking HIPAA

But have you heard of Prince, huh?
And maybe you should move along

Cuz I won’t be party to all this desperate drug seeking

I’d like to keep you breathing
And my nurse, she don’t like you and she likes everyone

And Big Pharma ain’t likely to admit that they were wrong
But we got so caught up treating pain, couldn’t see what’s going on

But now I know, above all we’ve been doing harm

So if you’d like that script for percocet

Then maybe you can go see someone else

And if you think you ain’t an addict yet

Then baby you should go and treat yourself

And when you told me that you rated your pain

Ten outta ten while you’re there texting your friends

And every time I told you oxycontin was wrong

I get another Press Ganey survey bomb

And I didn’t wanna write a script, but I didn’t want lawyers to say that I don’t care about pain, now where’d I put that Narcan?

And maybe Purdue Pharma’s wrong, when they pushed that everyone should be slanging all that Oxy, they honest like Bill Cosby

And this opioid crisis, is killing everyone

CMS, they ain’t likely to admit that they were wrong

Chronic pain folks are suffering

Treated like they’re criminals

But now I know

It’s time we fixed what going wrong

So if you like those HCAHPS scores so much, then maybe you should go run a hotel

And if you think that pain’s a vital sign

Then baby you should go and burn in hell

For all the times that I made you feel small

As if addiction was some character flaw

We should be treating folks when they’re so vulnerable

We’re losing lives, why can’t we break down these walls

Cuz if you’d like that script for narcs so much

Then maybe we should help you get some help

And if you think you can’t quit all alone

Then baby we can help you treat yourself