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A Closer Look at the Opioid Epidemic

Posted: September 5, 2019

By: Brenna Murphy, Readers' Advisory Librarian

This fall, GEPL is talking about some big issues in our community, including the opioid crisis. (Click here for more information about an opioid panel discussion happening at the library later this month). As it can be a difficult topic to unpack, consider these book recommendations to learn more.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones (Nonfiction)
Journalist Sam Quinones delves into the history of heroin distribution in the U.S. and its link to OxyContin. From rural Mexico to suburban neighborhoods in America, drug traffickers developed an intricate system to produce and distribute black tar heroin. Since many OxyContin addicts were looking for a cheaper alternative, these heroin dealers moved in. From DEA agents to small-time dealers to crooked clinics, Dreamland goes behind the scenes to reach the heart of this multi-faceted issue.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis (Young Adult Fiction)
When high school softball star Mickey breaks her leg in a car crash, her doctor prescribes OxyContin to help manage the pain. Mickey quickly becomes dependent on the pills and progresses to more extreme drug use with friends who don’t have her best interests in mind. When the addiction spirals out of control, Mickey is forced to make some tough decisions about what she wants for her future.

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy (Nonfiction)
This sweeping history of the opioid crisis begins with the introduction of OxyContin in 1996. Macy investigates how communities across America have been shattered by addiction, while showing compassion for those hit hardest by the epidemic. Join the book discussion of this title in November.

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