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Dopesick
Cover of Dopesick
Dopesick
Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
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An instant New York Times bestseller, Dopesick is the only book to tell the full story of the opioid crisis, from the boardroom to the courtroom and into the living rooms of Americans struggling to...
An instant New York Times bestseller, Dopesick is the only book to tell the full story of the opioid crisis, from the boardroom to the courtroom and into the living rooms of Americans struggling to...
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  • An instant New York Times bestseller, Dopesick is the only book to tell the full story of the opioid crisis, from the boardroom to the courtroom and into the living rooms of Americans struggling to save themselves and their families: "masterfully interlaces stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference" (New York Times) from a journalist who has lived through it.In this extraordinary work, Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of a national drama that has unfolded over two decades. From the labs and marketing departments of big pharma to local doctor's offices; wealthy suburbs to distressed small communities in Central Appalachia; from distant cities to once-idyllic farm towns; the spread of opioid addiction follows a tortuous trajectory that illustrates how this crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched. Beginning with a single dealer who lands in a small Virginia town and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose statistics, Macy sets out to answer a grieving mother's question-why her only son died-and comes away with a gripping, unputdownable story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy investigates the powerful forces that led America's doctors and patients to embrace a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In some of the same communities featured in her bestselling book Factory Man, the unemployed use painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills, while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and even high school standouts fall prey to prostitution, jail, and death. Through unsparing, compelling, and unforgettably humane portraits of families and first responders determined to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Beth Macy shows that one thing uniting Americans across geographic, partisan, and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But even in the midst of twin crises in drug abuse and healthcare, Macy finds reason to hope and ample signs of the spirit and tenacity that are helping the countless ordinary people ensnared by addiction build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. "An impressive feat of journalism, monumental in scope and urgent in its implications." - Jennifer Latson, The Boston Globe
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Beth Macy is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books Truevine and Factory Man. Based in Roanoke, Virginia for three decades, her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine In this razor-sharp indictment of the government, doctors, and Big Pharma, Beth Macy, author and narrator of this audiobook, exposes their attempts to control what is now an epidemic of opioid addiction among people of all walks of life in our nation. Doctors who do not understand the depth of the problem are overprescribing pain medications for small injuries and creating drug addicts in the process. Macy describes the many failed attempts to correct this in a tone that reflects her advocacy and caring as she reveals her findings. She strains to put a reporter's neutrality into her delivery, but her words reflect a reality that cancels her effort. Macy's pleas for change need to be heard. E.E.S. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 11, 2018
    Journalist Macy (Truevine) takes a hard and heartbreaking look at the cradle of the opioid addiction crisis, the Appalachian region of Virginia and nearby states. She places the responsibility for the epidemic squarely on Purdue Frederick, makers of OxyContin, and its sales division, Purdue Pharma, which engaged in near-predatory marketing practices to sell a drug that has wreaked havoc on the lives of 2.6 million Americans who are currently addicted, with more than 100 dying per day from opioid overdoses. In the first of three sections, she addresses “big pharma” in telling detail, outlining how the overprescribing of pain medication in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms created a market demand that was then met by illegal drug peddlers on the streets. Section two follows the spiral of addiction as users of prescription pills no longer able to afford their habit turn to heroin, a cheaper and more lethal solution to feed their fix. In the last section, the author changes the focus to what has become an addiction treatment industry. Macy potently mixes statistics and hard data with tragic stories of individual sufferers, as well as those who love and attempt to treat them. One addict, Tess Henry, was just 26 when she was first interviewed by Macy and, despite multiple attempts at rehab so that she could raise her infant son, she was dead within three years. Macy’s forceful and comprehensive overview makes clear the scale and complexity of America’s opioid crisis.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2018

    Here is a comprehensive look at the opiate crisis from the formulation of heroin in 1898 to the impact of heroin and fentanyl addiction in Appalachia. Focusing on the crisis in three states--Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland--allows the author to explore the personal and family impacts of addiction in those areas, although the crisis is paralleled across the United States. The resulting tale includes the aggressive marketing of Oxycodone by Perdue Pharma; the overprescription of pain meds by greedy physicians; the dealing and distribution of heroin laced with fentanyl to those injured on the job, athletes, and students; and overdose deaths, which are occurring at a record pace. This is a big story well told, clearly narrated by the author. The many characters and episodes are interwoven and blur somewhat in the audio format. Those serious about learning about the crisis will need a print copy with its copious source notes. VERDICT Recommended for adult nonfiction collections. ["Macy's use of current research by various experts makes clear how complex the opioid problem is, but the strength of this narrative comes from the people in the day-to-day battle": LJ 4/15/18 review of the Little, Brown hc.]--Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
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