PAIN was founded by artist Nan Goldin in late 2017. Our group of artists, activists, and people living with addiction addresses the overdose crisis by targeting the pharmaceutical companies that have profited off the addictions and deaths of over half a million Americans. We are not anti-opioid—we are anti-Big Pharma.
Our initial focus was on the toxic philanthropy of the billionaire Sackler family, who ignited the opioid overdose epidemic with their blockbuster drug, OxyContin. We’ve exposed the institutions that have complicity accepted their donations for years, and through direct action, we’ve successfully pushed many museums and universities to refuse Sackler funding and cut ties with the family.
While we continue to target the Sacklers, PAIN’s scope has expanded to fight the stigma that surrounds drug use and advocate for models of treatment grounded in harm reduction. We continue to fight against Big Pharma and the War on Drugs while organizing to pass legislation that provides life-saving treatment for people who use drugs.
Naloxone, the life-saving medication that reverses overdose, must be available at no-cost in every home, in every prison and carried by every first responder. Public dispensers of Naloxone must be installed on every corner in America.
Overdose Prevention Centers, needle exchange, and drug checking services provide lifesaving medical resources and access to treatment for those who are ready. Two in New York City saved nearly 700 lives in a single year—we need them across the country!
All barriers to prescribe MAT, like methadone and buprenorphine, must be removed. MAT must be made affordable to all people with Opioid Use Disorder in and out of prison.
Evidence-based treatment is a vital step toward repairing harm. Government funding for the overdose crisis must no longer be diverted into law enforcement or used to fund abstinence-based treatment models.
PAIN continues its work by advocating for harm reduction, drug decriminalization, and an end to the racist War on Drugs. Funds raised will support efforts to destigmatize drug use while highlighting compassionate, voluntary, evidence-based models
for drug policy, healthcare, and treatment.
Credit Arda Asena
Credit Emily Glick
Credit Antje Mangeant
Credit Tamara Rodriguez Reichberg