by Beth Macy
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am not even sure where to start on this book. (spoiler alerts ahead)
I watched the series with Michael Keaton. It was such a powerful series and so very well. Michael Keaton is stellar, as always.
I listened to this on audible. It was read by the author. She did a good job. However one think that I noticed was that is was not edited well. There were many parts that were repeated and I had to go and check my audible app. Aside from that, it was great.
The story takes you through Perdue Pharma and them starting the time released opioid drug that was supposed to be non addictive. Some doctors handed it out like candy, as the drug reps hit the small towns fairly hard on pushing the drug. There was some that refused to hand it out, there was some that waited awhile, and some that gave them as prescriptions as they could get away with.
The drug ended up being extremely addictive, as it is basically a pill form of heroin. The drug reps were asking them to start the patients at a higher dose to get the patient hooked (although that was not disclosed). People ended up losing all that they had because of it.
She weaved us through stories of people that had succumbed to the addiction and what had happened. She also let us know how it ended. I give this author credit, I am not sure I have gone through all of that emotionally.
But then you get to the story of Tessa. This story was so sad. This was a beautiful, bright girl. She had everything going for her. Slowly her life was falling apart, and of course people are in denial about whether or not their child uses. She ended up getting pregnant and her mother had thought she might be able to get off the drugs because of this. Tessa loved her son and tried to so hard. She had gone though years and years of rehab.
At the end, she ends up in Las Vegas, She would message her mother on Facebook to tell her where she was and that all is well. She would tell her that she loved her, her son, and her dog (Kota). I did okay with this story until the end, because I remember this being on the news. A homeless man had found her body nude in a bag, in a dumpster of an apartment complex. She barely weighed anything . It took the coroner two days to make her presentable for her mother to view her. She planned the memorial and had an open coffin. She wanted to remind those of what this drug can do to you. At the end, before the coffin closed her mother placed pictures of son, locks of the dogs hair, family jewelry of hers, and a poem that Tessa had written and won award for as a healthier young woman. At this point, I lost it. It was the last line of the book. It just reminded me of everything that she had and lost. I decided to look up a picture of her online. I wish that I had not. What a beautiful girl.