Review: “Warning: This Drug May Kill You”

Ten minutes in and you’ve already watched people overdosing in the middle of the street, in the middle of a store, right next to their family, dying in front of you. “Warning: This Drug May Kill You” is not subtle. It’s direct and to the bone. It’s a wake up call on American Society.


Opioid overdoses are happening everyday. The U.S. is facing the worst drug epidemic in its history and there’s nothing indicating that things are going to change in the near future if we don’t act on it. Statistically, there are more deaths from opioid overdoses than from car accidents, terrorism or gun violence, and the number is only increasing every year.

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This documentary, which premiered on Tribeca Film Festival 2017, puts a human face to the opioids addiction problem. It walks you through the affliction and despair of four families dealing with lost, grief, addiction and recovery.


The film tries to convey what’s the role of the pharmaceutical industry and the medical establishment in the rise of over-prescription of highly addictive opioids, which usually leads to heroin abuse. It shows the case of Purdue Pharma, which launched an aggressive campaign on 1996 to promote the use of opioid pain meds, with claims that they were not addictive and were safe for long-term use. 20 years later they pleaded guilty to lying about the real risks of OxyContin, which resulted on one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. history. OxyContin is still widely prescribed, with over 250 million prescriptions every year.

Journalist Perri Peltz (Director, HBO’s “Risky Drinking”) followed these families during one year an a half in order to portray the humanity of the people dealing with this burden and show that really anyone can fall into this addiction.


It is a very well done documentary; it displays all of the faces of this epidemic and its consequences. It’s definitively an important film to watch and share with families and friends


“Warning: This Drug May Kill You” will debut this Monday 1st and will be available on all HBO platforms (HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and its affiliated portals).

About The Author

Anthony Zangrillo is the President and Owner of the Motion Picture Club. While an undergraduate student at NYU, he founded the Motion Picture Club. At the Fordham University School of Law, he was the Online Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal and started the IPLJ Podcast, which continues recording to this day. You can find him on Instagram: @anthony_mpc.

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