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TikTok’s got a thing for joking about percocet—probably because the prescription opioid is referenced in music frequently.
But percocet’s position as a mainstay in pop culture doesn’t take away from the gravity of the drug: Deaths by opioid overdose have been rising steadily since the epidemic started in the nineties. In 2021, over 80,000 people died from overdoses on drugs like percocet.
The first wave of the epidemic, as it’s described by the Centers for Disease Control, began when doctors began to prescribe prescription opioids at an increased rate in the nineties. And today, forty-four people die each day from an overdose that involves prescription opioids.
Of course, not all doctors are to blame for the opioid epidemic. Some doctors are careful about prescribing the highly addictive drugs; while others, like pill mill doctors that over prescribed opioids to patients regardless of whether those patients truly needed the painkillers, are being identified and sentenced for their contribution to the epidemic.
All that said, it doesn’t feel great to see health care professionals making light of percocet by using a new trending audio on TikTok that is Lil Gotit’s voice saying “percocet, you want one?”
The audio comes from an interview Lil Gotit did with DJ Smallz. Mid-interview, Lil Gotit asked DJ Smallz if he wants a percocet. When DJ Smallz says no, Lil Gotit says “oh, you don’t do percocet.” The interview made some suspect that the rapper is struggling with opioid addiction.
As they lip-sync to Lil Gotit’s voice, healthcare professionals are acting out situations in which they might prescribe patients a painkiller, like when a patient has a broken leg, or after giving birth via c-section.
Many nurses also posted videos using the audio to describe giving patients pain medicine in general, and multiple videos stressed the importance of prescribing pain medications to manage patients’ discomfort.
Why it matters
The healthcare professionals who use Lil Gotit’s audio in their videos were only joking, and surely had good intentions when making their TikToks. But doctors publicly joking—directly or indirectly—about the opioid epidemic is heavy.
Maybe it’s worth reconsidering those types of videos before you press “post.”