Dopesick (Macy) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for DOPESICK … then take off on your own:

1. The thrust of Beth Macy's exposition on the nation's opioid crisis is her belief that it didn't have to happen: it was a human-made disaster. What according to Macy is responsible for creating the epidemic. Talk, too, about why it has never been fully addressed by the country-at-large.

2. Macy shines a hard light in particular on Perdue Pharma. Why does she take aim at the company? Talk about the sales incentives and marketing tactics Perdue used to sell Oxycontin.

3. Macy assembles a large cast of real people in her book, people like Kristi Fernandez, Ed Bisch, Lee Nuss, and many, many more. Which story of loss and grief, or fighting in the face of apathy, do you find most inspiring, most wrenching, most admirable. Did you find yourself at times confused trying to keep track of everyone?

4. Turning the discussion to recovery, what did you know before reading Dopesick—and what have you learned since—about the methods and realities of treatment. What are some of the treatment protocols? Which ones are controversial and why?

5. Once users get into treatment, how successful is it? What makes recovery so difficult.

6. Despite the growing alarm of the public, to say nothing of the 10s of 1,000s of deaths, too many users have difficulty finding help. Why is getting into treatment so hard?

7. Does Dopesick end on a note of hope — or on a note of despair? What about you? Are you optimistic … or pessimistic about society's ability to find solutions to the opioid and heroine epidemic?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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