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

Caidyn's review (1)

American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts

I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
This is publishing November 1st!


CW: drug use, addiction, overdoses, suicide, and government assholes

Where I am for my social work practicum is a place very different than this book’s stance. Every day — well, Mondays and Tuesdays — I listen to opioid use and the people who use them to make themselves better. The angle I’m coming at this topic from is very different than what McGreal is commenting on. I’m coming at it from hospice. And, that’s an important part of hospice since the whole thinking is to make their last days/weeks/months easy. Get rid of the pain.

So, generally, I look at opioids as something positive for these people.

For me? Nope. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had to use opioids and, each time, I got off of them as soon as possible. I wasn’t even on them for a week after top surgery before I started substituting them and getting myself off of them.

And, this book is just scary. It’s a fitting October read just from how frightening it is to see the way pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and the government all worked together to let this current mess we’re in get to this point. It was just terrifying to see how it all went down and happened, laid out in detail by McGreal.

Coming at this topic as a layperson, I found this book very easy to understand and track. McGreal is a great author. He knows how to tell the story and to do so simply. There were a lot of names that I couldn’t keep track of and sometimes I forgot about some things while I went along, but it was still a very solid, well-done book on a huge topic.

I loved how McGreal incorporated so many real voices into this. Not just the “experts,” but also the people affected by this epidemic. Those who have lost children, spouses, and even themselves to it. It was horrifyingly sad to see all the people who suffered and suffer from what’s happened.

If anything, this cements this in my head as a huge problem that needs to be fixed in the future or we’re going to suffer more than we already do as a society.

5 thoughts on “Book review: American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal

  1. Fantastic review and agreed, this is one of the scariest stories happening right now. It was a great book and I thought he also did something so meaningful by incorporating so many different voices and perspectives. And you weren’t alone in getting a bit lost in the names/situations here and there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: October wrap-up – BW Reviews

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