Tonight, one of the friends invited him for a dinner. Not having a car yet, Doug decided to walk to his friend’s place instead of taking public transportation. He was following the GPS-direction on his i-phone when he realized that he had taken a wrong turn at some point, now arriving at a dimly-lit narrow street. From a distant, he noticed a few youths were hustling near a narrower side-alley, while exchanging some objects. That’s when he figured that his mistake might have landed him in an illicit drug trading area.
Like all big cities around the world, Philadelphia also suffers from the modern-day scourge of drug epidemics, especially city’s opioid-crisis headlines national news. However, Doug maintained his common sense, gently pulled out a ten dollar bill from his denim’s pocket, and exchanged it for a small package from the seller, while also getting the direction for the street of his interest. Embarking on a lighted avenue on the other side, he opened the package and found a lollipop on a stick. Looking back, Doug noticed that the next buyer, who had followed him, already started sucking on his lollipop.
Now, for his PhD thesis, Doug had worked on a novel method of delivering medicine to severely sickened patients, especially those in cancer treatments. For reasons still unknown to medical professionals, some of these patients would suddenly experience severe breakthrough pain making them even unable to swallow a pill. Four years of hard work in the laboratory allowed Doug to invent a unique method of formulation of pain medicine in a lozenge form for the patients to suck on it, thus alleviating pain. His scientific work was well-recognized by the scientific communities as well as the medical professionals.
But, the “miracle-turned-Genie” had come out of the bottle. The entrepreneur drug dealers must have found some rogue scientists to work in clandestine facilities to formulate the illicit drug substances into the similar lozenge form on a stick, giving it a lollipop look.
Under bright city lights and surrounded by high skyscrapers, Doug kept on walking towards his destination. At the same time, he wondered how many more lives would now be ruined with new drug-epidemics exploiting his invention that was intended for the welfare of the society.