Joe Rogan Mariana van Zeller

Mariana van Zeller

Mariana van Zeller (born May 7, 1976) is a Peabody Award-winning Portuguese journalist and correspondent for National Geographic Channel. She is also chief correspondent for Fusion and is a former correspondent for the Vanguard documentary series on the former Current TV.

Books Mentioned on The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1938 - Joe Rogan & Mariana van Zeller:

Book Title: Tell Your Children

Author: Alex Berenson

Book Title: Hidden War

Author: Lt. John Nores

Book Title: Hell’s Angels

Author: Hunter S. Thompson

Book Title: Colbalt Red

Author: Siddharth Kara

Uncovering the Opioid Crisis: Insights from Mariana van Zeller

Mariana van Zeller, an investigative journalist, sheds light on the alarming origins of America’s opioid crisis in a conversation with Joe Rogan. She highlights the shocking role played by pharmaceutical companies in igniting the biggest drug epidemic in the nation’s history. The misuse of prescription drugs like OxyContin, which was extensively marketed and prescribed, laid the foundation for this crisis.

The OxyContin Express: A Trail of Addiction and Despair

Van Zeller’s groundbreaking work, “The OxyContin Express,” brought into focus the grim reality of pill mills and rampant overprescription in America. These clinics, often mere strip malls, became hotbeds for the distribution of OxyContin, fueling a wave of addiction. The lack of proper databases for tracking prescriptions at the time allowed for unchecked “doctor shopping” and pill mill operations, further aggravating the situation.

The Dark Side of Prescription: A Personal Encounter

Van Zeller recounts a harrowing experience while investigating a notorious pill mill named “American Pain.” Owned by twins Jeff and Chris George, this clinic exemplified the unchecked power and greed driving the crisis. Van Zeller and her team faced intimidation and threats, a testament to the dangerous lengths these operations would go to protect their lucrative business.

The Deception and Influence of Big Pharma

The conversation also delves into the unethical practices of pharmaceutical companies and their executives. Despite the devastating impact on communities and individuals, accountability in the pharmaceutical industry remains shockingly low. The discussion points out how companies misled the public about the addictive nature of opioids, and how bribery and incentives corrupted the medical system.

A Shift in Focus: From OxyContin to Fentanyl

Van Zeller’s work didn’t stop at OxyContin; she also explored the emergence of fentanyl as a new threat. She exposes how pharmaceutical companies incentivized doctors to overprescribe this powerful opioid, often for conditions it was not intended to treat. This reckless behavior contributed significantly to the opioid crisis, with fentanyl becoming a major cause of overdose deaths.

The Continuing Battle Against Opioid Addiction

The article concludes with a discussion on the ongoing efforts to combat the opioid crisis, including the implementation of prescription drug databases and stricter regulations. However, the legacy of the crisis persists, with many individuals turning to the black market and dangerous substances like heroin and fentanyl-laced drugs. The conversation underscores the need for continuous vigilance and action against opioid misuse.

The Consequences of Combat Sports: Joe Rogan’s Insight on Brain Damage

In a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, host Joe Rogan discussed the severe impacts of knockouts in combat sports, particularly focusing on the long-term brain damage they can cause. Rogan, with his extensive background in martial arts and UFC commentary, shared personal experiences and observations about the risks fighters face when they suffer repeated knockouts. He emphasized how once a fighter has been knocked out multiple times, their susceptibility to further knockouts increases significantly.

The Case of Meldrick Taylor

A poignant example Rogan discussed was that of Meldrick Taylor, an Olympic gold medalist and elite boxer. Taylor’s career took a devastating turn after a brutal fight with Julio Cesar Chavez, where he was knocked out with just two seconds left in the final round. This defeat marked the beginning of a downward spiral for Taylor. Post this fight, he suffered multiple knockouts and eventually exhibited clear signs of severe brain damage. Rogan highlighted how interviews with Taylor in later years were heartbreakingly different from his earlier articulate and energetic appearances.

The Struggle with Identity and Health

Rogan delved into the psychological aspects, noting how fighters often struggle with their identity post-retirement, especially when their careers end due to health concerns like brain damage. For many, their sport is not just a profession but a core part of who they are, making the transition away from fighting incredibly challenging. Rogan also touched upon the difficulty of addressing these issues with fighters, as many are reluctant to acknowledge the risks or consider retirement.

Rogan’s Personal Experience and Perspective

Joe Rogan shared his own experiences with head trauma, recalling a time when he realized the potential damage he was doing to himself through martial arts. This personal connection to the subject added depth to his discussion, underlining his understanding of the challenges and risks involved in combat sports.


The episode serves as a stark reminder of the realities of brain damage in combat sports. Rogan’s candid conversation provides valuable insight into the physical and psychological impacts of this issue, highlighting the need for awareness and precaution in these sports. The story of Meldrick Taylor, in particular, is a poignant example of how a promising career can be tragically altered by the risks inherent in combat sports.