Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis

by Beth Macy
Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis

by Beth Macy


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Listen to Beth Macy in conversation about Raising Lazarus on Poured Over: The B&N Podcast.


Notes From Your Bookseller

Beth Macy makes plain that in these “Uneven United States of America,” even after decades of opioid devastation, we have yet to fully rise to the challenges of this crisis. But that does not mean there are no heroes, that we should forget to hope. No less gripping, powerful, and vehement than Factory Man and Dopesick, Macy’s painstakingly brilliant piecing together how we got here, Raising Lazarus reveals the heroism become manifest when compassion compels us to truly recognize the humanity of the suffering.

A “deeply reported, deeply moving” (Patrick Radden Keefe) account of everyday heroes fighting on the front lines of the overdose crisis, from the New York Times bestselling author of Dopesick (inspiration for the Peabody Award-winning Hulu limited series) and Factory Man.

Nearly a decade into the second wave of America's overdose crisis, pharmaceutical companies have yet to answer for the harms they created. As pending court battles against opioid makers, distributors, and retailers drag on, addiction rates have soared to record-breaking levels during the COVID pandemic, illustrating the critical need for leadership, urgency, and change. Meanwhile, there is scant consensus between law enforcement and medical leaders, nor an understanding of how to truly scale the programs that are out there, working at the ragged edge of capacity and actually saving lives.

Distilling this massive, unprecedented national health crisis down to its character-driven emotional core as only she can, Beth Macy takes us into the country’s hardest hit places to witness the devastating personal costs that one-third of America's families are now being forced to shoulder. Here we meet the ordinary people fighting for the least of us with the fewest resources, from harm reductionists risking arrest to bring lifesaving care to the homeless and addicted to the activists and bereaved families pushing to hold Purdue and the Sackler family accountable. These heroes come from all walks of life; what they have in common is an up-close and personal understanding of addiction that refuses to stigmatize—and therefore abandon—people who use drugs, as big pharma execs and many politicians are all too ready to do. 

Like the treatment innovators she profiles, Beth Macy meets the opioid crisis where it is—not where we think it should be or wish it was. Bearing witness with clear eyes, intrepid curiosity, and unfailing empathy, she brings us the crucial next installment in the story of the defining disaster of our era, one that touches every single one of us, whether directly or indirectly. A complex story of public health, big pharma, dark money, politics, race, and class that is by turns harrowing and heartening, infuriating and inspiring, Raising Lazarus is a must-read for all Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316430227
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/16/2022
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 329,254
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu’s Peabody Award-winning “Dopesick” series.


Table of Contents

Prologue: The Secret of Patient Care xi

Part 1 Affliction

Chapter 1 Stone-Rollers 3

Chapter 2 Die-In 25

Chapter 3 Freeze Frame 39

Chapter 4 White Privilege 54

Part 2 Acta Non Verba

Chapter 5 The Avengers 81

Chapter 6 Good Criminals 100

Chapter 7 Weaponizing Addiction 116

Chapter 8 Peer Pressure 135

Part 3 Baby Steps

Chapter 9 The Moral Arc 150

Chapter 10 Encounters with the Unseen 175

Chapter 11 Backburn 195

Part 4 Judge for Yourselves

Chapter 12 "You Literally Cannot Give a Shit" 223

Chapter 13 The War on People 254

Epilogue 279

Author's Note and Glossary 295

Acknowledgments 297

Notes 301

Index 356

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