2019 Library of Virginia Annual Literary Awards Finalist
LA Times Book Prize for Science & Technology Winner
American Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Media Award Winner
2018 Kirkus Prize Finalist
2019 Library of Virginia People's Choice Award for Nonfiction finalist
2019 Ohioana Book Award in nonfiction finalist
Andrew Carnegie Medal shortlist
800-CEO-READ 2018 Business Book Awards Longlist
A New York Times Bestseller
One of New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2018
New York Times critic Janet Maslin's Top Five Best Books
An NPR's On Point Top Title of 2018
One of Literary Hub's Ultimate Best Books of 2018
One of ALA's 2018 Notable Books
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
One of Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Best Southern Books of 2018
One of Newsweek's 61 Best Books of 2018
Washington Post Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of 2018
One of Anne Lamott's Favorite Books of 2018
In Dopesick, Beth Macy exposes the heartbreaking realities of those individuals and communities affected by the opioid epidemic in America; its scope ranges from small-time drug pushers to the corporations and doctors that peddled the deadliest and most addicting drugs to unsuspecting patients, ruining lives along the way. This book is a humanitarian plea for those responsible to right the wrongs caused by their greed. It will both baffle and infuriate you; it is a staggering, human portrait of folks left behind in favor of the almighty dollar. Recommended By Eric L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
An instant New York Times and indie bestseller, Dopesick is the only book to fully chart the devastating opioid crisis in America: "a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency" (New York Times) from a 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.
"An impressive feat of journalism, monumental in scope and urgent in its implications." The Boston Globe
"Dopesick largely reads as a human interest story, a series of intertwined portrayals of grief and terror...These painful and personal stories form the heart of Macy's book and make it perhaps the most empathic of the volumes regarding the epidemic...But to describe Dopesick simply as a series of human interest stories shortchanges its comprehensiveness." Arthur Robin Williams, M.D. and Frances R. Levin, M.D., Cerebrum
"Macy digs into the explosion of opioid addiction in Appalachia, in a book that is a scorching indictment of American greed and indifference." Datebook
"In this impeccably researched and heartbreaking book, Macy traces the devastating path that opioids have carved through every avenue and back road of America." Bookpage
"This book is comprehensive, compassionate and forceful. No matter what you already know about the opiod crisis, Dopesick's toughness and intimacy make it a must." New York Times
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.