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Beth Macy, Dopesick
August 14, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes bestselling author and journalist Beth Macy for a discussion and signing of her important book, Dopesick—the only book to fully chart the devastating opiod crisis in America. An instant New York Times and indie bestseller, Dopesick is “a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency.” (New York Times). This event is part of our year-long effort, 2020 Vision.
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.
Beth Macy is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books Truevine and Factory Man. Based in Roanoke, Virginia for three decades, her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard.
“Heartbreaking, exhaustively researched…a fierce indictment of racism, corporate greed and wily dealers…a terrifying, essential read.” —People
“Macy is a terrific reporter, scrupulous in detailing the significance of her findings…Dopesick‘s second section–filled with gut-wrenchingly candid interviews with addicts and their families–is the most essential, placing broken faces onto horrifying data sets.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Macy reports on the human carnage with respect and quiet compassion.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“Beth Macy writes about our opioid epidemic but Dopesick is not about the drugs. It’s a book about kids and moms and neighbors and the people who try to save them. It’s about shame and stigma and desperation. It’s about bad policy, greed and corruption. It’s a Greek tragedy with a chorus of teenage ghosts who know how to text but can’t express how they feel.” —Senator Tim Kaine
This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Chairs for open seating are usually set up about an hour before the event begins. If you have any ADA accommodation requests, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 12th, 2019.