The Price of Pain: The Opioid Addiction Crisis

When Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016, the world was shocked. But long before his untimely death, opioid overdoses had been taking a toll in America's heartland and in places never thought to be associated with a drug epidemic. Those things only happened in cities like New York and L.A., not Portsmouth, Ohio, or McKeesport, Pa. Until now.

How did we get here? What can we do about it? These books attempt to answer those questions.

Dreamland, the title of Sam Quinones' book, comes from the name given to the community pool in Portsmouth, Ohio. The pool was built in 1929 when Portsmouth was a booming, blue-collar manufacturing town. Dreamland was the center of community life in Portsmouth up until the 1980s. Today the factories are gone and so is the pool, replaced by pain centers and pill mills. This small city is now one of many ravaged by the opioid epidemic in America.

Chronic pain afflicts millions of people around the world. But what exactly is chronic pain? How can it be treated without leading to addiction? Why aren't more doctors trained in pain treatment? Health journalist Judy Foremen attempts to answer these questions in The Global Pain Crisis.

American Pain is the pill mill of all pill mills, a mega-clinic started in Florida by an ex-con who realized the money to made in selling oxycontin—and it was more or less legal. Once he was able to get unscrupulous doctors on board, business was booming.