Her first target? The wealthy philanthropists who help buoy the types of museums that supported her career—and her addiction.

I learned that the Sackler family, whose name I knew from museums and galleries, were responsible for the epidemic. This family formulated, marketed, and distributed OxyContin. I decided to make the private public by calling them to task…They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world. We demand that the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education.

To achieve this goal, Goldin has set up P.A.I.N., which stands for Prescription Addiction Intervention Now. The group’s Instagram and Twitter accounts will be leveraging the hashtag #ShameonSackler to help pressure the pharma family to use the wealth generated from America’s opioid addiction for education and rehab facilities, not splashy grand courtyards at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

“We are demanding they fund various treatment models; rehab centers, medication assisted programs, harm reduction, relapse prevention, and holistic approaches,” she says in a statement to Artnet. “We demand they introduce effective labelling of their products and their addiction potential. We demand that they impress upon doctors to stop over-prescribing these medications except for patients who are in extreme pain.” (Quartz currently has a request out to Goldin’s studio for further comment.)

In addition to P.A.I.N., Goldin is encouraging museums to stop accepting donations from the Sackler family, as any money received is effectively funded by the opioid epidemic. She also has plans to leverage awareness through the medium that first shed light on America’s underground drug culture: her photography.

“Most of my community was lost to AIDS,” she writes. “I can’t stand by and watch another generation disappear.”


Addendum: This article has been updated to note that the descendants of Arthur M. Sackler have not profited from the sales of OxyContin or Purdue Pharma.

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