Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Over the Counter #419

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal.

From Public Affairs Books:

"A comprehensive portrait of a uniquely American epidemic–devastating in its findings and damning in its conclusions.

The opioid epidemic has been described as “one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine.” But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption, and indifference that pushed the US into consuming more than 80 percent of the world’s opioid painkillers.

Journeying through lives and communities wrecked by the epidemic, Chris McGreal reveals not only how Big Pharma hooked Americans on powerfully addictive drugs, but the corrupting of medicine and public institutions that let the opioid makers get away with it.

The starting point for McGreal’s deeply reported investigation is the miners promised that opioid painkillers would restore their wrecked bodies, but who became targets of “drug dealers in white coats.”

A few heroic physicians warned of impending disaster. But American Overdose exposes the powerful forces they were up against, including the pharmaceutical industry’s coopting of the Food and Drug Administration and Congress in the drive to push painkillers–resulting in the resurgence of heroin cartels in the American heartland. McGreal tells the story, in terms both broad and intimate, of people hit by a catastrophe they never saw coming. Years in the making, its ruinous consequences will stretch years into the future."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


Icewineanne said...

Devastatingly tragic. So fortunate that those in our extended family resisted the temptation of hollow promises & easy access to drugs/meds. There are so many responsible for the crisis that it’s difficult to pinpoint just a few. It’s our duty to begin chipping away at what appears to be an insurmountable crisis immediately.

Mystica said...

Unlikely that I will ever be able to read this book, so I am glad that you did a review of it. Sounds very informative as well.