Dopesick by Beth Macy

In a previous life, I was the committee director for a state legislative committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. I spent two years submerged in learning everything I could about the bludgeoning (at that time) epidemic. I remember in one of my first meetings with an academic and he told me quite plainly, “Oh we have not even seen the worst of this yet.” He told me that this was a long time in the making and the inaction to actually address the problem would have far reaching effects on the Americans

It’s three and half years later and everything he said has become true.

Even if you have not been personally touched by the heroin epidemic, Dopesick is a powerful book. Beth Macy is an investigative reporter based in Virginia. To tell the larger story of the opioid and heroin epidemic, she focused on a few towns and a few individuals and the path their lives took.

I find her book to be so good because she takes a look at the epidemic from all angles. She does not just take aim at one industry or blame one person. She takes a holistic approach to the examination of the epidemic.

Addiction does not discriminate. It rears its ugly head in every town and it can appear in any family. Everyone needs to read this to understand how we got where we are today. If you read any book this Fall, you should read Beth Macy’s book Dopesick.

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Girls Burn Brighter

I’m reviewing my Goodreads notes on this book, and I have absolutely not idea how it ended up on my list. I’m assuming it was from one of the lists I saw in the last couple of months about upcoming books.

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobhan Rao arrived from the library with about five other books. For once, I asked for the printed receipt and realized that Girls Burn Brighter was a 7 day loan. I rolled my eyes and crumbled up the receipt and tossed it into the trash as I exited the library.

I am perilously close to being unable to borrow more library books due to unpaid library fines. However, in my defense, 7 days and 14 day loans are the culprits! And it’s very difficult to return a book you are halfway through when you KNOW there is a waiting list for the book(which is the reason you are unable to renew it). What is a girl to do?

Moving on, Girls Burn Brighter arrived in a cache of books from the library. I was heading home to my parents house for the holiday weekend and brought a few books with me. I opted to pick up Girls Burn Brighter because of the looming deadline.

This books is many things but the strongest impression that was left on me was the examination of the power of female friendship and the quiet power of women. Poornima and Savitha both had, what can only be described, as a quiet power within themselves.

This book was set in 2001/2002 and I am absolutely horrified to have confirmed that this story is not an outlandish work of fiction. The stories of Poornima and Savitha are not uncommon or unlikely to have happened. The hunger, the poverty, and the violence are all typical and expected experiences for Indian women.

Who else has read this book? I have been talking about this book non stop in the hopes of finding someone to discuss it with. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this book.

Happy Reading and Drinking!