American Overdose - The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts

Author(s): Chris McGreal

Cultural Studies | 75% Off Non Fiction Sale

A comprehensive portrait of a uniquely American epidemic--devastating in its findings and damning in its conclusions. Now updated with new details on Big Pharma lawsuits.


The opioid epidemic has been described as "one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine." But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption, and indifference that pushed the US into consuming more than 80 percent of the world's opioid painkillers.


Journeying through lives and communities wrecked by the epidemic, Chris McGreal reveals not only how Big Pharma hooked Americans on powerfully addictive drugs, but the corrupting of medicine and public institutions that let the opioid makers get away with it.


The starting point for McGreal's deeply reported investigation is the miners promised that opioid painkillers would restore their wrecked bodies, but who became targets of "drug dealers in white coats."


A few heroic physicians warned of impending disaster. 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. McGreal tells the story, in terms both broad and intimate, of people hit by a catastrophe they never saw coming. Years in the making, its ruinous consequences will stretch years into the future.


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"With great reporting and compelling storytelling, American Overdose lays bare the tragedy of the opioid epidemic tearing at the soul of the United States. Those who want to understand the issue of narcotics and addiction have to read it."

—Ioan Grillo, author of El Narco

"A deftly researched account of America's opioid epidemic. McGreal's book is authoritative in tone and vernacular in style....[A] powerful narrative."

—Kirkus Reviews, 

"[A] powerful account ... American Overdose is a tale of bad decision making, greed and malfeasance that is still unfolding, and not one about which we can afford to be complacent."

—Nick Hopkinson, British Medical Journal

General Fields

  • : 9781783351695
  • : Faber & Faber, Limited
  • : Guardian Faber Publishing
  • : August 2019
  • : .827 Inches X 5.079 Inches X 7.795 Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 352
  • : Paperback
  • : Chris McGreal