Dopesick by Beth Macy


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 hi...

Details Dopesick

Release DateAug 7th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreNonfiction, History, Politics, Health, Science, Medicine

Reviews Dopesick

  • Julie
    Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company Who Addicted America by Beth Macy is a 2018 Little, Brown and Company publication. “Because the most important thing for the morphine-hijacked brain is, always, not to experience the crushing physical and psychological pain of withdrawal: but to avoid dope sickness at any cost.”While some may remain untouched, most Americans are painfully aware of the grip opiate addiction has on our country. L...
  • Matt
    “The informant leaned into [Lieutenant Richard] Stallard’s cruiser. ‘This feller up here’s got this new stuff he’s selling. It’s called Oxy, and he says it’s great,’ he said. ‘What is it again?” Stallard asked.‘It’s Oxy-compton…something like that.’Pill users were already misusing it to intensify their high, the informant explained, as well as selling it on the black market. Oxy came in much higher dosages than standar...
  • Michelle
    In 2012, author and investigative social journalist, Beth Macy began writing about the worst drug (heroin) epidemic in world history. “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company That Addicted America” began in the hills and valleys of Appalachia, the mid-western rust belt, rural Maine before rapidly spreading throughout the U.S. In 2016, 64,000 Americans perished from drug related causes and overdoses-- outnumbering the total of those k...
  • Jennifer
    "But you can't put a corporation in jail; you just take their money, and it's not really their money anyway. The corporation feels no pain." Beth Macy has made a name for herself with her award-winning research and journalism, and she put her skills to good use in covering America's opioid crisis from past to present. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America discusses all the warnings history has left for us concer...
  • Ang
    This was ridiculously excellent. Macy is a fantastic writer, and she is so good at getting you to care about the people and issues in this book. I read Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic but didn't think it was particularly good, in terms of helping me understand WTF was going on with the opioid crisis. Macy's book is just SO. MUCH. BETTER. at that aspect of this, while including narrative and biography.(Abandon Hope All Ye Who...
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley.)Beth Macy has crafted a work that expertly utilizes both a grander narrative and the personal tragic tales of numerous figures and families, all to great effect to show how the ongoing epidemic came to be. This is a work that will tear out your heart before filling you with a ferocious fury. Fury at the shameless drug companies who targeted economically depressed co...
  • lp
    An emotional, powerful, important must-read. This book wasn't trying to do what HILLBILLY ELEGY was trying to do, but it did it, anyway. It did a great job getting close to answering those big questions. I got a huge understanding of the cycle of addiction and struggle in Appalachia. Beth Macy writes with her heart and her skill. Both are enormous.
  • Stephanie
    If you want to know the backstory of America's opioid epidemic, look no further than Beth Macy's meticulously researched book. The personal vignettes bring a face to the stories we read about in the paper. I know many people will compare it to Hillbilly Elegy, which I learned a great deal from, but this book raised more questions for me. I think it would be a fantastic book club discussion. It points out a broken health care system that will cont...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    I have read several books on the opioid epidemic but never had I read a nonfiction narrative documenting such a landscape of relentless distress and horror. This book is heartwrenching as individuals and communities sink into levels of hell that grow worse and worse. The author Beth Macy is a reporter at a Roanoke Virginia newspaper and covers the story of the opioid epidemic from the grotesque greed of Purdue pharma which pushed these pills by t...
  • Kathleen
    Dopesick is an excellent companion to Sam Quinones’ Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Macy expands on Quinones' reporting on Purdue Pharmaceutical’s indefensible marketing of OxyContin that resulted in thousands and thousands of addicted users. Perdue was forced to reformulate and paid serious fines, but left devastated lives (and deaths) in its wake. Macy excels at recounting the individual stories of families that hav...
  • Tfalcone
    Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC.I had barely started reading and I was immediatly getting fired up. First of all - the greed of drug companies, salespeople and doctors.Whatever happened to "First do no harm"? I never realized the amount of money that was at stake here. I also did not realize that doctors caved in so easily to drug reps. But then, really in the end the decision to take the drugs lies within each individual. On some level you...
  • Paul
    From Roanoke to Maine to Humbolt County, the opioid crisis has swept across the United States with pundits on every side calling for action. Macy cuts through the debate with well-documented research that advocates for a combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment and a twelve step program. Word by word she builds a most striking argument for change. Even in the face of a lack of federal action and the complaints of nimbys, the author provides r...
  • Maureen
    3.5 Stars - 4 for the importance of the subject matter, 3 for the quality of the writing. I felt like there were just too many players to keep track of in the narrative. Someone introduced on page 30 by their full name is going to be unforgettable when introduced by their first name after there have been 40 or so other people introduced during the ensuing pages. Such fragmented storytelling proved to be frustrating to this reader. Nevertheless, a...
  • Liz Bartek
    Great work by Macy, as always; truly heartbreaking, we're not doing enough to address this epidemic.
  • John Spiller
    If you have read "Dreamland" by Sam Quinones, then "Dopesick" may be a bit redundant but still a worthy read. I thought Quinones did a better job examining how the change in approach to pain management, which was ruthlessly exploited by Purdue Pharma (the maker of Oxycontin), ultimately spawned what is now known as the "opioid crisis". Macy does a better job detailing the human cost of opioid addiction. I have read numerous books on the lives of ...
  • Betsy Holcombe degolian
    A fascinating look into the history and reality of the opioid epidemic. Macy did her research and compassionately tells the story of those touched and living in the throes of the epidemic.
  • Beth
    I remember back in high school, as part of a senior project about drugs and drug use, I had to write a paper. My argument in that paper was that legalization of any drug was a terrible idea, and would ultimately do more harm than good. This was back in 1990, when "just say no" was the all-encompassing message sent out to kids around the country. That paper, and the overly-simplistic attitude and mindset are not things I think about very often the...
  • Christine
    People, just read this. I never claimed to know much about drugs, and this book confirmed that I was right. What a sad sad book! If you have children, I highly recommend you check this book out. Literally, from your library if necessary! It will remind you to always keep your eyes open in regards to your children. Talk to them! This book affected me on a deep level, and I don't have kids to worry about, and I have never really taken prescription ...
  • Traci at The Stacks
    I enjoyed the content overall. I didn’t always like the writing style. At times felt very sympathetic to certain kinds of addicts. It’s a good book but I wonder about the story being told and who is vilified and who isn’t.
  • Lucas Brandl
    This is one of the saddest and most terrifying books I've ever read. Drug overdose is currently "the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of fifty, killing more people than guns or car accidents, at a rate higher than the HIV epidemic at its peak." This book captures many tragic stories of users, dealers and pharmaceutical executives, explaining how opioids in America have exploded into the seemingly uncontrollable mess it is today....
  • Jeremy
    ‘I knew that I might not see change in my lifetime, but I was going ahead with this battle anyway.’ - Van Rooyan, 68He seemed more concerned about being honest than trying to control the narrative. - 116‘There are so many families struggling with the same thing Colton has been struggling with. It’s insidious, and it’s evil, and it’s not just pot...And I know there’s a social stigma attached to this, but don’t hide. Don’t hide fr...
  • Michelle
    My feelings/thoughts about this book have kept me up at night. Beth Macy is a journalist and in DOPESICK she tracks the ascent of oxycontin and what it's done to this country. Obviously there is a need for pain medication and the drug has legitimate uses, however, the way this drug was marketed, pushed, etc. is absolutely sickening. I thought I was somewhat educated on the topic, because I have specifically made it a point to understand how we ca...
  • Lissa
    4.5 stars. It's not often that you read a book that just feels so important and relevant to current society.  This follows the Opioid epidemic from the time that OxyContin was being aggressively hyped to doctors treating overworked mineworkers in Appalachia to the current time as Heroin is being used across class lines.  This is a frightening book and anger-inducing book but I think it is so important for as many people as possible to understan...
  • Jen
    I have lived a very, VERY sheltered life. Despite going through public school in America, I never saw drug use or was offered drugs by anyone. Or if I did, I was too naive to know what was being offered or what I saw. Seriously, sheltered. So I was of the very mistaken opinion that druggies were stupid, that they were the idiots who took drugs in the first place and that they deserved what they got. They should have known better. This book pointe...
  • Jennifer
    This book should be read by everyone..... Less stigma and more treatment for these individuals.
  • Elizabeth Jamison
    You can count on any book by Beth Macy to be a master class in excellent research and reporting, while never losing sight of the most important element of any story - the people at its center. In this regard, Macy's Dopesick continues her streak of excellence while tackling the brutal topic of opioid addition and the insidious way that it is has invaded our nation's communities by using three Virginia communities as the book's heartbeat. The pers...
  • Crystal
    I have just finished reading this book, which covers the opioid crisis, located in my home region of southwestern Virginia. The details written by Beth Macy are shocking and saddening. Macy writes as a reporter but also as a person of compassion for the people who in some ways have been exploited by the big pharma and by certain “treatment” programs. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic. Just because we don’...
  • gaudeo
    This is a remarkable book, full of all kinds of things I didn't know. Most of all, it alerted me to the fact that I surely know people who have been affected by opioid addiction, even if they hide it out of embarrassment or shame. But the real criminals brought out in the book are the drug companies, particularly the one that makes OxyContin (or OxyCoffin, as some call it). This company will do anything to make the most money possible, treading o...
  • Bryn
    Wow. I couldn't put this book down. It is an eye-opening, heartbreaking expose of the opioid epidemic in this country. I feel like I've largely been able to insulate myself from this crisis (although we do have one family friend, a pillar of my hometown community in rural Michigan, who is currently serving a jail sentence as a result of his descent into addiction), but the portrait that emerges here is nothing short of heartrending, and it is cle...
  • Nancy
    When I heard this book reviewed on NPR, I knew I would read it. It takes a very personal look at the opioid stories of parents, kids, police, caregivers, medical doctors, government workers,...the reader can understand why not one simple approach can “solve” the epidemic. It is a must to read...I think I fell into the judgmental group before reading is much more complicated than that.