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Source: YouTube

Dan Schneider Was Among the Firsts to Take up the Fight Against the Oxycontin Epidemic

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Dan Schneider launched a private investigation into the drug epidemic affecting the inhabitants of St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans, LA, after the tragic death of his son.

The four-episode-long Netflix miniseries, The Pharmacist chronicles his relentless campaign against the so-called 'pill mill,' a neighborhood doctor's office illegally prescribing Oxycontin for recreational purposes. Ready to find out more about Dan Schneider, the family man who relentlessly fought against Oxycontin misuse?

'The Pharmacist' revolves around Dan Schneider's fight against substance abuse.

Propelled by the profound sense of loss felt over his son, Danny Jr.'s sudden death, Dan instigated his inquiry into the drug-related accidents taking place in the area. His aims were two-fold: to identify the criminal responsible for the death of his beloved son, and to cap the rapid soar of Oxycontin overdoses. 

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Source: YouTube

According to The Cinemaholic, the 70-year-old moved to the St. Bernard Parish, a peaceful, affluent Louisiana neighborhood during the 1970s. This is where he and his wife, Annie, raised their two children, Danny and Kristi. They pursued a seemingly idyllic and harmonious lifestyle — which all changed when the police found Danny's dead body in the driving seat of his red Ford Ranger pick-up truck, with a stack of cash crumpled in his hand on April 14, 1999. 

As Heavy reveals, the police concluded that the 22-year-old traveled to the infamous 9th Ward area to pick up crack cocaine. However, the investigation failed to reveal the identity of the killer — and soon enough, it was dropped. It was this tragedy that led Dan to pick up the fight, first by offering $10,000 to witnesses able to provide new details about the identity and whereabouts of his son's murderer, and eventually, by starting a campaign against substance abuse.  

Dan's efforts weren't in vain. A 9th Ward resident came forward to share new details about the shooting that took place on April 14, 1999, claiming that she watched 15-year-old Jeffrey Hall pick up a gun and murder Danny Jr. from her driveway. Dan shared the invaluable insight with the police, who arrested the perpetrator on May 14, 2000. Hall was awarded a 15-year-long prison sentence for manslaughter. 

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Source: YouTube

'The Pharmacist' captures how Dan Schneider shut down the 'pill mill'.

However, this didn't mark the end of Dan's heroic journey. Next up, the pharmacist launched the so-called 'Wicked Witch of the East Project,' a hunt aimed against a neighborhood doctor using their license to prescribe Oxycontin tablets to those unable to meet the medical criteria. As he learned, Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett operated up until 5 a.m., prescribing opioids for a whopping fee of $400. It was Dan who put an end to the malpractice. 

Dan teamed up with George Papale, a solicitor investigating drug abuse-related claims, exerting increased pressure on the authorities. On February 14, 2002, Cleggett had her license removed, and the clinic was closed down.

"I just hope my son would be proud of what I've done," Dan humbly described how he feels about his incredible achievements in an interview cited by The Sun. 

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