Prescription drug dependency is an epidemic that is taking over the United States. The abuse of prescription medications has already claimed more lives than car accidents in America annually. 40 years ago, prescription drugs were not nearly as common as they are now, and dependency on them was something millions thought impossible. But a new generation has come up, a generation that has essentially been taught that every problem can be solved by popping a pill; a generation who has come to believe that lie simply because the science is sound, to an extent, and because they lack understanding of how dangerous prescription drugs can be. Behind The Orange Curtain is a pungent documentary that proves otherwise.
Life in Orange County, California is a dream, or so it appears. The wealth in the city gives the appearance of perfection, but is really fuel on the prescription drug fire. Behind The Orange Curtain opens with emotional recounts of individuals, mostly parents, who lost a child as a result of their child’s drug dependency. Viewers also get to meet addicts who became clean, be it after life-altering experiences; first responders, doctors, politicians, and the many other people who are involved with the taboo subject of prescription drug dependency.
Some of the scenes are like something out of a horror film, which is probably symbolic of what many of these families experience. Footage of addicts in rehab and images of bodies filling up the Orange County morgue send a chill up the spine of every viewer, and stand as a stark reminder of how close to home this epidemic, cleverly nicknamed “Pharmageddon,” really is.
At the center of this statistic-filled documentary are human stories, and that is what sets it apart from the numerous anti-drug campaigns and news reports. Yes, there are some moments that play out like an Above The Influence ad, but in the way that only movies can, Behind The Orange Curtain gives full, uncomfortable, uncensored, raw and honest truth about being an addict and being related to one. The deaths are not pretty. Nothing is covered up. The stomach-churning details are hard to fully comprehend, but important to share.
Words like “mirage” and “naïveté” are the essence of this largely disregarded but growing problem in the US. The money involved causes even more people to keep their mouth shut. It can be argued that the reason for the creation of Behind The Orange Curtain is to expose the demons rumbling beneath the surface of these seemingly perfect American cities. Hopefully, it will be enough to start a revolution that changes the reputation of pharmaceutical America.