Literary pick of the week: "Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss, and Redemption in the Rehab State"

·1 min read

Oct. 24—Can you imagine deliberately having your child sent to jail? Some parents of addicted children are so exhausted they know they can get a few nights' rest if their loved one is locked up, safer in jail than on the streets.

That's one of the heartbreaking anecdotes Amy C. Sullivan recounts in her new book, "Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss, and Redemption in the Rehab State," based on interviews with former drug-users, family, and others caught in the web of opioid use, treatment, recovery, and loss. She points out that this opioid crisis continues to ravage families and communities, with more than 450,000 Americans dead from overdoses since the late 1990s.

Sullivan, a history professor at Macalester College, underscores the complexity of this epidemic from every viewpoint — drug use, parenting, harm reduction, medication, abstinence and stigma and she questions current treatment models, healthcare inequities and the criminal justice system that treats people of color differently from white people who are addicted.

"Opioid Reckoning" (University of Minnesota Press), will be launched at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, at Macalester's Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center 3 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul. The program will be a hybrid event with a panel discussion featuring Sullivan and two of the narrators who contributed their stories to the book: mother and advocate Ann Perry and addiction medicine specialist Robert Levy. Joe Linstroth, media relations director at the college, will be moderator.

This event is free and open to the public. Register to attend in person at z.umn.edu/1025p. To attend virtually register at z.umn.edu/1025z.

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