Dopesick (audiobook)

Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

Read by Beth Macy
10.3 hrs • 10 CDs • Unabridged
Target Audience: Adult
Release Date: 08/07/18
Library CD Library Edition CD titles are packaged in an attractive, full-sized, durable vinyl case with full color art. Cloth Sleeves keep compact discs protected and in numerical order. 
- 08/07/18 9781549119613
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Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

New York Times bestseller

A New York Times Pick of Books of the Times

An Entertainment Weekly Pick of the Month

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

A USA Today Pick

An bestseller

A BookPage Top Pick of the Month

From the New York Times bestselling author of Factory Man comes the only book to fully chart the opioid crisis in America—an unforgettable portrait of the families and first responders on the front lines.

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.

Review Quotes

“Beth Macy, author and narrator of this audiobook, exposes their attempts to control what is now an epidemic of opioid addiction…Macy describes the many failed attempts to correct this in a tone that reflects her advocacy and caring as she reveals her findings. She strains to put a reporter’s neutrality into her delivery, but her words reflect a reality that cancels her effort. Macy’s pleas for change need to be heard. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


Dopesick is another deep—and deeply needed—look into the troubled soul of America.”

Tom Hanks, Academy Award-winning actor and New York Times bestselling author

“Sensitively written and rigorously reported.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Macy is certainly not the first to write about the opioid crisis, but in Dopesick she brings a new level of nuance and humanity to a story that has been splashed across headlines for years. (I won’t spoil the jaw-dropping ending.)"

USA Today

“This gripping book is a feat of reporting, research, and synthesis…a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency…Macy follows one specific drug through the range of problems it has caused, the people it has hurt, the difficulties in fighting it (with plenty of too little, too late) and the glimmers of hope that remain.”

New York Times

“A ferocious piece of journalism distinguished by unyielding compassion.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“An impressive feat of journalism, monumental in scope and urgent in its implications…gritty and heartbreaking.”

Boston Globe

“With both compassion and no-bull reporting…Macy delivers the first book to completely chart America’s current opioid crisis.”

Garden and Gun

“Impeccably researched and masterfully told.”


“Harrowing travels through the land of the hypermedicated, courtesy of hopelessness, poverty, and large pharmaceutical companies…An urgent, eye-opening look at a problem that promises to grow much worse in the face of inaction and indifference.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This book blends memoir and reportage, leaving nearly no stone unturned, looking at the opioid epidemic.”

Book Riot

“A searing account…What makes Macy’s book so devastating are her intimate portraits of addicts and their tortured families, trapped in the cycle of addiction, recovery, and relapse.”

Shelf Awareness

“Macy’s use of current research by various experts makes clear how complex the opioid problem is, but the strength of this narrative comes from the people in the day-to-day battle.”

Library Journal

“Every once in a while, you come across a piece of material that is that rare diamond in that it’s an incredibly arresting story, and, even more, is timely and important…Beth’s dissection and thoughtful emotion in detailing the opioid crisis that now plagues our country is as compelling a story as I have seen.”

Bert Salke, president, Fox 21 Television Studios

“Everyone should read Beth Macy’s story of the American opioid epidemic.”

Anne C. Case, professor emeritus at Princeton University, and Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics