Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Six books for understanding the American drug crisis

Ben Westhoff is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about culture, drugs, and poverty. His books are taught around the country and have been translated into languages all over the world.

His new book is Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic.

At LitHub Westhoff tagged six books for understanding the American drug crisis, including:
Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

No matter where you come from or how old you are, you’ve likely been given misinformation about drugs for most of your life. Chasing the Scream is one of those “everything you know is wrong” texts that uses first-hand reporting from around the globe to show how we’ve gotten in wrong, and how we can right the ship. Hari travels from Arizona—where prison camps try to humiliate users into going straight—to Portugal, where decriminalization has actually helped solve drug problems. Most astonishing is his reporting on heroin abuse. Counter to the traditional narrative that once an opiate or opioid get its “chemical hooks” into users it’s nearly impossible for them to break free, Hari shows the situation to often be less chemical than psychological. If users can get their personal lives in order, they can frequently get clean.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue