While substance abuse has been around for a long time, the current opioid crisis really is something new. It grew up fast around the 1996 introduction of OxyContin, and the juggernaut of aggressive marketing, high dosages, and powerful pills that could be swallowed, snorted, or injected got people hooked fast. At this point there are some 2.6 million people addicted to opiates nationwide. Overdoses are the leading cause of death for those under age 50, and in a decade the total deaths from opiates exceeded all deaths from HIV/AIDS. The statistics are numbing. But let them be the gateway for the invaluable stories Beth Macy recounts in Dopesick (Little, Brown, $28) about individual users, their families, doctors, and communities. Macy is a passionate reporter and while she focuses on the western part of Virginia--the region she knows best, and which is also among the hardest hit by opiates—she gives a comprehensive look at the history of drugs in this country, traces their different demographic trails, totes up the costs, and outlines the nation’s wrong-headed and/or conflicting criminal justice, drug, and health-care policies.
Dopesick by Beth Macy
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company - August 7th, 2018