How to Fix a Drug Scandal

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How to Fix a Drug Scandal
  • Documentary
  • Crime
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4
Running time47–59 minutes
Original release
ReleaseApril 1, 2020 (2020-04-01)

How to Fix a Drug Scandal is an American true crime documentary miniseries that was released on Netflix on April 1, 2020.[1] It was produced by documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr and examined the roles of two forensic chemists at different laboratories in Massachusetts, Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan, who tampered with evidence and falsified drug certificates of defendants; and the impact this had on thousands of cases involving drug testing handled by the two women.[2][3]


Dookhan was the most productive forensic chemist at a lab in Boston, producing four times as many test certificates as any other chemist. Once an investigation began, it turned out that, for the most part, she was not testing the drugs at all, but was falsifing reports in order to be perceived as hard-working.[4]

Farak worked at a lab in Amherst and was a drug addict. She tampered with the evidence she was tasked with analyzing, instead using it to get high herself. She was only charged in regard to two particular samples in a six month period and served 18 months in prison. She later admitted she was under the influence of drugs the entire ten years she worked at the laboratory.[5][6][7][8]

The actions of both women, who acted independently, resulted in tens of thousands of drug counts being dismissed, the largest single mass dismissal of criminal cases in U.S. history.[9] How to Fix a Drug Scandal also describes how two former assistant Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Anne Kaczmarek and Kris Foster, failed to turn over crucial evidence to the defence, misled the judge in the case and the impact of this misconduct.[10]


How to Fix a Drug Scandal was released on April 1, 2020, on Netflix.[2]


  1. ^ Horton, Adrian (1 April 2020). "How to Fix a Drug Scandal: behind a staggering Netflix crime docuseries". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b "'How to Fix a Drug Scandal' Review: Netflix's True-Crime Doc Is a Boring 'Breaking Bad'". Collider. April 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  3. ^ "How to Fix a Drug Scandal: behind a staggering Netflix crime docuseries". The Guardian. April 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  4. ^ Lavoie, Denise (4 March 2014). "Inspector General: Dookhan 'Sole Bad Actor' In State Drug Lab Scandal". CBS Boston.
  5. ^ McDonald, Danny (25 September 2019). "24,000 charges tossed because they were tainted by former Amherst lab chemist's misconduct". The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ Schoenberg, Shira (21 September 2020). "Bar oversight agency considers misconduct by attorneys in lab scandal case". CommonWealth Magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  7. ^ Lisinski, Chris. "Defendants could share $14 million settlement over state drug lab scandal". The Berkshire Eagle. State House News Service. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  8. ^ Mulvihill, Maggie; Schuppe, Jon (23 September 2022). "Epic Massachusetts crime lab scandal may involve even broader wrongdoing, judge says". NBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  9. ^ Trahan, Erin (9 April 2020). "Netflix's 'How To Fix A Drug Scandal' Elevates Process Over Personality". WBUR.
  10. ^ Wilkinson, Alissa (1 April 2020). "How to Fix a Drug Scandal is the staggering true story of justice gone very wrong". Vox.

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