Author: Sam Quinones
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2015-04-21
Genre: True Crime
Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction Named on Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America. In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico. Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.
Author: Sam Quinones
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2015-04-21
Genre: Social Science
An explosive true account of addiction, marketing and the making of an epidemic weaves together the story of Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, while, at the same time, a massive influx of black tar heroin took the county by storm through an almost unbreakable marking and distribution system.
Author: Barry Meier
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2018-05-29
“Groundbreaking . . . the shocking account of the origins of today's opioid epidemic, the creators of this plague, and the way to help stop it.”—Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic “Prescient . . . a landmark work of investigative journalism.”—David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and author of The End of Overeating Between 1999 and 2017, an estimated 250,000 Americans died from overdoses involving prescription painkillers, a plague ignited by Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin. Families, working class and wealthy, have been torn apart, businesses destroyed, and public officials pushed to the brink. In Pain Killer, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Barry Meier exposes the roots of the most pressing health epidemic of the twenty-first century. Powerful narcotic painkillers, or opioids, were once used as drugs of last resort for pain sufferers. Purdue turned OxyContin into a billion-dollar blockbuster by launching an unprecedented marketing campaign claiming that the drug’s long-acting formulation made it safer to use than traditional painkillers for many types of pain. That illusion was quickly shattered as drug abusers learned that crushing an Oxy could release its narcotic payload all at once. Even in its prescribed form, Oxy proved fiercely addictive. As OxyContin’s use and abuse grew, Purdue concealed what it knew from regulators, doctors, and patients. Here are the people who profited from the crisis and those who paid the price, those who plotted in boardrooms and those who tried to sound alarm bells. A country doctor in rural Virginia, Art Van Zee, took on Purdue and warned officials about OxyContin abuse. An ebullient high school cheerleader, Lindsey Myers, was reduced to stealing from her parents to feed her escalating Oxy habit. A hard-charging DEA official, Laura Nagel, tried to hold Purdue executives to account. The drugmaker’s owners, Raymond and Mortimer Sackler, whose names adorn museums worldwide, made enormous fortunes from the commercial success of OxyContin. In this updated edition of Pain Killer, Barry Meier breaks new ground in his decades-long investigation into the opioid epidemic. He takes readers inside Purdue to show how long the company withheld information about the abuse of OxyContin and gives a shocking account of the Justice Department’s failure to alter the trajectory of the opioid epidemic and protect thousands of lives. Equal parts crime thriller, medical detective story, and business exposé, Pain Killer is a hard-hitting look at how a supposed wonder drug became the gateway drug to a national tragedy.
Author: Barry Meier
Release Date: 2003-10-17
Examines OxyContin, the so-called miracle prescription drug that swept the nation but led to overdoes and addiction, providing a look at the multi-billion-dollar pain managment business, its excesses and its abuses.
* Finalist for the Edgar® Award in Best Fact Crime * New York Post, “The Post’s Favorite Books of 2015” * Suspense Magazine’s “Best True Crime Books of 2015” * Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year in True Crime * Publishers Weekly, Big Indie Book of Fall 2015 The king of the Florida pill mills was American Pain, a mega-clinic expressly created to serve addicts posing as patients. From a fortress-like former bank building, American Pain’s doctors distributed massive quantities of oxycodone to hundreds of customers a day, mostly traffickers and addicts who came by the vanload. Inked muscle-heads ran the clinic’s security. Former strippers operated the pharmacy, counting out pills and stashing cash in garbage bags. Under their lab coats, the doctors carried guns—and it was all legal… sort of. American Pain was the brainchild of Chris George, a 27-year-old convicted drug felon. The son of a South Florida home builder, Chris George grew up in ultra-rich Wellington, where Bill Gates, Springsteen, and Madonna kept houses. Thick-necked from weightlifting, he and his twin brother hung out with mobsters, invested in strip clubs, brawled with cops, and grinned for their mug shots. After the housing market stalled, a local doctor clued in the brothers to the burgeoning underground market for lightly regulated prescription painkillers. In Florida, pain clinics could dispense the meds, and no one tracked the patients. Seizing the opportunity, Chris George teamed up with the doctor, and word got out. Just two years later Chris had raked in $40 million, and 90 percent of the pills his doctors prescribed flowed north to feed the rest of the country’s insatiable narcotics addiction. Meanwhile, hundreds more pain clinics in the mold of American Pain had popped up in the Sunshine State, creating a gigantic new drug industry. American Pain chronicles the rise and fall of this game-changing pill mill, and how it helped tip the nation into its current opioid crisis, the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. The narrative swings back and forth between Florida and Kentucky, and is populated by a gaudy and diverse cast of characters. This includes the incongruous band of wealthy bad boys, thugs and esteemed physicians who built American Pain, as well as penniless Kentucky clans who transformed themselves into painkiller trafficking rings. It includes addicts whose lives were devastated by American Pain’s drugs, and the federal agents and grieving mothers who labored for years to bring the clinic’s crew to justice.
Author: Anna Lembke
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2016-11-06
Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it’s built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems. In Drug Dealer, MD, Dr. Anna Lembke uncovers the unseen forces driving opioid addiction nationwide. Combining case studies from her own practice with vital statistics drawn from public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, she explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug dependence and addiction. Even when addiction is recognized by doctors and their patients, she argues, many doctors don’t know how to treat it, connections to treatment are lacking, and insurance companies won’t pay for rehab. Full of extensive interviews—with health care providers, pharmacists, social workers, hospital administrators, insurance company executives, journalists, economists, advocates, and patients and their families— Drug Dealer, MD, is for anyone whose life has been touched in some way by addiction to prescription drugs. Dr. Lembke gives voice to the millions of Americans struggling with prescription drugs while singling out the real culprits behind the rise in opioid addiction: cultural narratives that promote pills as quick fixes, pharmaceutical corporations in cahoots with organized medicine, and a new medical bureaucracy focused on the bottom line that favors pills, procedures, and patient satisfaction over wellness. Dr. Lembke concludes that the prescription drug epidemic is a symptom of a faltering health care system, the solution for which lies in rethinking how health care is delivered.
The only book to fully chart the devastating opioid crisis in America: An unforgettable portrait of the families and first responders on the front lines, from a New York Times bestselling author and journalist who has lived through it. In this masterful work, Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America's twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it's a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national 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 endeavors to answer a grieving mother's question-why her only son died-and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy parses how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In some of the same distressed 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, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Beth Macy shows, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy still finds reason to hope-and signs of the spirit and tenacity necessary in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves and their families. "Everyone should read Beth Macy's story of the American opioid epidemic" -- Professor Anne C Case, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Author: Erin Marie Daly
Release Date: 2014-08-12
Genre: Social Science
As the opiate epidemic takes an increasingly strong hold on American families, Erin Daly’s investigation into what happened to her younger brother is as important as ever. What had happened to my baby brother? How did a tiny little pill shatter our family?When did we first begin losing Pat?These are the harrowing questions that plagued Erin Marie Daly after her youngest brother Pat, an OxyContin addict, was found dead of a heroin overdose at the age of twenty. In just a few short years, the powerful prescription painkiller had transformed him from a fun-loving ball of energy to a heroin addict hell-bent on getting his next fix. Erin set out on a painful personal journey, turning a journalistic eye on her brother’s addiction; in the process, she was startled to discover a new twist to the ongoing prescription drug epidemic. That kids are hooked on prescription drugs is nothing new; what is new is how a generation of young people playing around with today’s increasingly powerful opioids are finding themselves in the frightening grip of heroin. With a new introduction and updated notes, Generation Rx explores what the opiate epidemic is doing to our youth, and just how inextricably tied OxyContin and Heroin really are.
Author: Martin Booth
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 2013-09-24
Known to mankind since prehistoric times, opium is arguably the oldest and most widely used narcotic. Opium: A History traces the drug's astounding impact on world culture--from its religious use by prehistoric peoples to its influence on the imaginations of the Romantic writers; from the earliest medical science to the Sino-British opium wars. And, in the present day, as the addict population rises and penetrates every walk of life, Opium shows how the international multibillion-dollar heroin industry operates with terrifying efficiency and forms an integral part of the world's money markets. In this first full-length history of opium, acclaimed author Martin Booth uncovers the multifaceted nature of this remarkable narcotic and the bittersweet effects of a simple poppy with a deadly legacy.
Author: Hal Marcovitz
Publisher: Referencepoint Press
Release Date: 2017-08
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
When synthetic opioids were developed a quarter-century ago, many physicians believed the drugs would help alleviate the pain caused by severe injuries and debilitating diseases. But while the drugs do deaden pain, they can lead to devastating addiction as well as death through overdose. Meanwhile, the natural opioid heroin continues to be a much-abused illegal drug that threatens the lives of its users.
This profound yet practical guide by a veteran recovery professional goes further than any other book in pinpointing why addictions are so tenacious, how we all suffer from them to a greater or lesser extent, and the true, time-tested steps toward freeing yourself. No social problem today causes greater confusion than addiction. Whatever form it takes?alcohol, heroin, cocaine, nicotine, etc.?it tears apart homes and relationships, destroys careers and futures, and leaves loved ones asking: Why couldn?t he stop once and for all? Or ?get better?? Or control himself? Despite everything that?s been said and written, many people remain deeply confounded about these problems. The addiction-treatment field itself is in a state of civil war because there is no consensus on what addiction is, much less what to do about it. Based on years of hard-won experience by a preeminent specialist in addictive behavior, Thinking Simply About Addiction explains the core truth of addiction: It is not a neurosis, a physical malady, a behavioral choice, or, in the narrowest sense, a moral failure. It is an ?automatism??an involuntary, non-stoppable behavior that once triggered leaves the addict powerless. It is a human problem and a part of human nature. As such, it is something that we all experience. In four to-the-point chapters, Thinking Simply About Addiction rises above the noise level and provides real-world help and new ways of thinking for addicts and those who care for them. Its insights are so profoundly clear and sensible that many readers will be able to say: Finally, someone gets it.
During the height of the crack epidemic that decimated the streets of D.C., Ruben Castaneda covered the crime beat for the Washington Post. The first in his family to graduate from college, he had landed a job at one of the country's premier newspapers. But his apparent success masked a devastating secret: he was a crack addict. Even as he covered the drug-fueled violence that was destroying the city, he was prowling S Street, a 24/7 open-air crack market, during his off hours, looking for his next fix. Castaneda's remarkable book, S Street Rising, is more than a memoir; it's a portrait of a city in crisis. It's the adrenalin-infused story of the street where Castaneda quickly became a regular, and where a fledgling church led by a charismatic and streetwise pastorwas protected by the local drug kingpin, a dangerous man who followed an old-school code of honor. It's the story of Castaneda's friendship with an exceptional police homicide commander whose career was derailed when he ran afoul of Mayor Marion Barry and his political cronies. And it's a study of the city itself as it tried to rise above the bloody crack epidemic and the corrosive politics of the Barry era. S Street Rising is The Wire meets the Oscar-winning movie Crash. And it's all true.