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Summary

Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it's built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems.

In Drug Dealer, MD, Dr. Anna Lembke uncovers the unseen forces driving opioid addiction nationwide. Combining case studies from her own practice with vital statistics drawn from public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, she explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug dependence and addiction.

Full of extensive interviews - with health care providers, pharmacists, social workers, hospital administrators, insurance company executives, journalists, economists, advocates, and patients and their families - Drug Dealer, MD, is for anyone whose life has been touched in some way by addiction to prescription drugs.

©2016 Johns Hopkins University Press (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A short and feisty book... Drug Dealer, MD offers a welcome mix of bracing pragmatism and well-judged sympathy, not least for patients and doctors caught in the vortex of institutional forces." ( Wall Street Journal)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-05-18

Insightful look into the opioid epidemic

I am a family medicine doctor, and I got the opportunity to rotate through a chemical dependency and recovery program, and this book really gave a lot of insight into the challenges these patients face. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone hoping to better understand the opioid addiction epidemic.

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  • edgar
  • 16-04-18

Siri-like monotone

This is a great book that deserves to be read/heard as it provides background into an important contemporary problem. The computer-like reading voice, without modulation or variation, however, makes listening to this painful. This is admittedly my first audible book, but if they all sound like this, I will not get more.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dani L
  • 17-01-21

a drs manual on addicts

I bought this book because it looked like the kind I like, a salacious memoir written by an insider that worked at the height of the epidemic and, though well written, it was dry and more of a doctor's guide on how to spot an addict and I feel that too much of this stuff has led to an extreme reaction to over prescribing and now instead doctors are denying meds to people who need them because of stuff like this. the personal anecdotes were interesting but I thought this book would include more of them. when are we going to get a manual on doctors that stereotype everyone as a pill seeker?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-20

Highly Informative

As a medical student, I found the information in this book a very helpful explanation of what I have seen in the hospital.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A.E.
  • 29-10-18

Insightful

Very insightful. Having this background knowledge about addiction and treament will help me in my career as a pharmacist.

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  • AB10301
  • 06-05-18

long overdue

excellent book. one highlight is that patient satisfaction score system is a joke . physicians are slowly waking up to the fact that their main function in recent decades is to keep the chains moving and not to care for patients. sad state of affairs. the truth of the matter is patients don't want good quality care because that involves the patients doing a lot of work on themselves and changing lifestyle habits. a 30 min or even one hour talk with a doctor every few months is not going to do that. so the pills and procedures keep coming that's what the public wants really no matter how much they protest. the easy way.

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  • Ashley Lussier
  • 02-10-21

review from a pain physician

Dr Lembke manages to successfully illustrate the many factors involved that created our current mess of a healthcare system. It was startling to listen to her rattle off defense mechanisms that I realize I have used accurately. Definitely a great listen if you want to be more self aware.

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  • CECILIA PEREZ
  • 23-07-21

Would Recommend

This was so insightful and a good read/listen. Would definitely recommend everyone listen to this

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  • Edward Bisch
  • 15-01-21

Excellent overall book on why the opioid crisis reached epidemic proportions.

Interestingly told through real life stories one can see what went so terribly wrong with a system that spawned the Opioid Epidemic. Corporate greed is only part of this tragic story.

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  • Triple A
  • 14-08-19

Important topic written by jaded doctor

I’m developing a library of books related to the opioid epidemic for use in a health professions curriculum. This book was referenced in another book so I gave it a listen. Couldn’t finish the book because of the author’s unnecessary and lengthy perjorative, unprofessional and unkind characterizations of different types of patients who seek and use opioids. For me, this invalidated the whole book. There are much better, more evidence-based, more professionally written sources available for this important topic.

1 person found this helpful