As I’ve written before, Beth Macy has an extraordinary gift for encapsulating our nation’s greatest challenges in gripping, intimate, and wise stories of everyday American struggles. She is a bestselling author of several books about addiction, inequality, and justice, and it was a great pleasure to talk to her about her latest book, Raising Lazarus, on this latest episode of Flourishing After Addiction. On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed seeing this book take shape behind the scenes, and we get to talk about her writing and research process a bit too—I was lucky to make a connection with her early in the process of releasing my own book, so it was fun to talk about how our work has informed each other and how her thinking has evolved over time.
In our conversation, Beth opens up about her personal experiences growing up as a child of alcoholics and what she did to heal—as she notes, something she’s never discussed in prior interviews. Of course, we also talk a fair bit about her book, including how this work is focused on what she sees as the most likely solutions to our current crisis. It’s a big departure for her and a full-throated celebration of harm reduction. We talk about the innovative people she profiles, folks working tirelessly to provide evidence-based care and harm reduction services even in really inhospitable communities and situations. It’s a daunting topic, but Beth has also found a great deal of hope there too.
Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist with three decades of experience and an award-winning author of three New York Times bestselling books: Factory Man, Truevine, and Dopesick. Her first book, Factory Man, won a J. Anthony Lukas Prize and Dopesick was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, won the L.A. Times Book Prize for Science and Technology, and was described as a “masterwork of narrative nonfiction” by The New York Times. Dopesick has now been made into a Peabody award-winning and Emmy-winning Hulu series on which she acted as an executive producer and cowriter. Her latest book, Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis, was published on August 16, 2022. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and her personal website.
In this episode:
- The work of Gail D'Onofrio, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Yale and pioneer in ED-initiated buprenorphine
- Estimation of the Time Needed to Deliver the 2020 USPSTF Preventive Care Recommendations in Primary Care
- Beth’s personal essay about her childhood on Oprah Daily
- “By the book” interview with Beth
- Beth’s guest essay in the New York Times: “The Two Simple Edicts of Successful Addiction Treatment”. Those edicts are: (1) “You can get better.” (2) “Don’t disappear.”
- Link to all of Beth’s books: Raising Lazarus, Dopesick, Truevine, and Factory Man
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