The origins of the opioid crisis in rural America
So much heartache and loss. So much joy and redemption. So much humanity.
You've heard the horror stories about drug addiction. Your eyes glaze over with half-hearted interest when you see the stats surrounding the "opioid crisis." You know you should care that 130 people are dying of accidental overdose every day in America, yet you just can't seem to muster the compassion. The Face of Addiction tells the stories of twelve people Joshua met when he first began "getting close" to the things that matter in his community. There's the woman whose husband succumbed to an overdose even though she was sure he'd finally beaten it. The man who found a reason for recovery in his daughter's letter to Santa. The city councilman whose perspective finally changed after years of family turmoil. What's more, two of the people featured here have died since giving their interview. That's how important it is for you to hear what they have to say. This is the face of addiction.
The Face of Addiction is a heartbreaking and unflinching book that explores:
The impact of stigma on people who use drugs
The devastating intersection between substance use disorder and gender dysphoria
The looming mental health crisis that is already overwhelming service providers across western society
How Christians can put their faith to work in service to the most vulnerable members of their community
Why harm reduction is a pro-life issue
“There’s only one solid way to make change in a social problem—hear the stories of the folks involved … The Face of Addiction brings them out of the shadows in powerful ways and make this book essential reading for us all.”Sam Quinones, Author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
“Empathetic, honest, and humanizing. Joshua Lawson’s heart-wrenching book The Face of Addiction, a collection of first-hand accounts of addiction in Appalachian Ohio, is defiant and life-affirming.”Jack Shuler, Author of This is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America
“Rarely does the public get to hear such personal and poignantly told stories by the very people most affected by the current addiction and mental health crisis … Compassionate and inspiring, readers are left with a better understanding of these issues, and how we as a society have, in many ways, contributed to them.”Lisa Roberts, R.N./Public Health Nurse, Portsmouth City Health Department
“'Those people' have a face. In fact, they have many faces. I hope you are as impacted as I was as you take the time to read this book and gaze upon them. Because I believe you will discover that the face you’re looking at resembles your daughter, your son, your spouse, your neighbor, and perhaps even your own.”Andrew Wehrheim, Inventory Coordinator, The Hope Center
Joshua Lawson is a writer who lives in southern Ohio with his wife and kids and their ever-reproducing family of cats. He loves strong coffee and good books. He has worked as an organizer, pastor, and ally to people who use drugs in central Appalachia for the past three years.Visit his website