My blood is boiling just writing this review. You had pharmacies that were doing really good. As this spiraled into rural communities, like Kermit and Williamson in Appalachia, social fabric, already strained by deindustrialization and the 2008 financial crash, shredded as people flocked to pill mills run by disgraced doctors with cash in hand gained from theft, prostitution and other crimes. The book is rife with stories of the human cost of such greed. It is astonishing how deeply criminal it was, and how little was done to stop it.
Uniquely in America, doctors all over the country firmly believe that narcotics are necessary and appropriate for any kind of pain, for any age of person, in any kind of need. Purdue Pharma is all but guaranteed billions of dollars annually until that time. As someone living with a chronic pain illness, I felt super conflicted when I read about how this sort of started as some doctors pushed for more recognition of pain in patients, and then big pharma took that and ran with it in order to push opioids on prescribers dishonestly. I first remember hearing about opioids back in the early 2000s - and I'd even heard about the loose standards in Williamson. The book is an origin tale of the opioid crisis that offers little hope for the future. 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.
A documentary about West Virginia, which was literally a opoid mill, was shown a few months back, towns completely taken over by addiction. Reading American Overdose is a great place to start. The book highlights the massive collusion and corruption in communities in West Virginia and Kentucky, leading to the Williamson Wellness Center and other pill mills that were protected by law enforcement, ignored by state and federal regulators, and encouraged or exploited by drug manufacturers and distributors. The connection of these forces that conspired together with too many government officials and policy makers looking the other way, have created a corrupt for profit medical industry that dangerously fails to serve the American people in a responsible accountable manner. We are in a dangerous zone and people are dying daily because of it.
It was 150 OxyContin pills, which my insurance paid for. Ultimately, the financial penalty imposed on a handful of those responsible means nothing to the millions of people whose lives were ruined by or lost to opioid addiction. So hundreds of dispensaries popped up to take advantage of the flood of cash. This book explains how this happened, how it was allowed to happen. This book does a good job at outlining what was happening at the high level and all the money these pharmaceutical companies and agencies were making off of peoples lives. I had no idea about the magnitude of immoral advertising by drug companies and of the illegal prescribing by doctors.
Instead, federal and state dysfunction and disinterest contributed to the crisis. They characterize him as unreasonable and difficult. Doctors were flooding the state with narcotics. McGreal goes on to successfully address the question of how the greatest drug epidemic in history grew largely unchecked for nearly two decades. What had happened in the five years that I was gone? Virginia and takes you pretty much to present. Coming at this topic as a layperson, I found this book very easy to understand and track. The timeline at the end is invaluable — for some Congressional hearing that will never take place.
They were facilitated by politicians, regulators, and a broader medical industry with an agenda or that chose not to see. Mass prescribing was driving the epidemic. Hell, I could get my point across in five minutes. People were passed out on the streets or in their cars from overdosing. However, with billions a year in profits the fine was labeled as merely the cost of doing business. Ultimately, the financial penalty imposed on a handful of those responsible means nothing to the millions of people whose lives were ruined by or lost to opioid addiction. But it didn't spread very fast in my part of Ohio - or, if it did, I didn't notice.
I mean, they were prescriptions from a doctor, you know? Chris McGreal investigates the players, the history and the fallout in the thorough, gripping and excellent American Overdose. McGreal highlights how so many segments of the medical and social systems failed the American public. Who is to blame for the addiction to painkillers? An eyes-wide-opening look at the serious epidemic that is the opioid crisis. McGreal tells the story, in terms both broad and intimate, of people hit by a catastrophe they never saw coming. Several kids were rushed to the hospital after consuming them. I will not soon forget what I have read in American Overdose. Written in an engaging style with thorough research and clear stances, American Overdose is highly recommended.
McGreal is less successful, however, in capturing the human toll of the epidemic and explaining societal changes in attitudes toward addiction, especially as they relate to race. McGreal's book is authoritative in tone and vernacular in style. A lot of it is really frustrating and difficult to read because of some of the marketing tactics and manipulative pe I mostly picked up this book because Liberty Hardy, on the podcast 'All the Books,' described it as a great and important read, especially since everyone has been somehow affected or in contact with the dangers of addiction. Not failure through incompetence or fortune. I loved how McGreal incorporated so many real voices into this. A searing expose full of extraordinary characters - heroes, villains and victims.
More people dying of opioid overdose than car crashes!?! He lays the blame generally where it belongs on the pharmaceutical industry and their pursuit of extreme profits. Opioid addiction also rose across the nation because of cultural factors, writes McGreal. The second section of the book, addiction is addressed. Some 29,000 of those 70,000 drug deaths last year in America were caused by fentanils, up from 3,000 just five years before. I was riveted by this account of the start and spread of the opioid epidemic and how it has helped fuel the rise of heroin and fentanyl.