Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company That Addicted America

Beth Macy. Little, Brown, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-55124-3
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. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2018
Release date: 08/07/2018
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-1961-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5491-2000-8
Hardcover - 560 pages - 978-0-316-52317-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-9468-9
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