The Opioid Epidemic Reviews

The Opioid Epidemic: ISBN 978-1-68282-299-9 / eBook: 978-1-68282-300-2
Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 1, 2017

Marcovitz offers a timely exploration of the issue.

Marcovitz doesn’t avoid the issues of race, class, and gender in this discussion, noting that the opioid epidemic is nothing new. What's happening is that it has primarily switched from the natural to the synthetic, broadened its market base, and so heightened its profile. The author uses numbers judiciously, allowing them weight—2,000,000 opioid addicts in the United States; a half-million heroin addicts—without emphasizing them so much that they become forgettable. He makes it real, with grim, everyday anecdotes. What is opium, why did people decide to strengthen its powers into laudanum and morphine, what is dopamine, what happens when we overstimulate the opioid receptors in our brains? Occasionally Marcovitz will drop a bomb (“a CDC report found that in some states, there are more opioid prescriptions than there are people”) though he is a four-square humanist: he quotes a Canadian doctor as saying, “If you live with constant suffering that's not controlled, you have relatively few options. You either turn to the black market. . .or suicide, as the other option.” Or, Marcovitz suggests, take out the greed and corruption fostered by draconian laws, put sensible controls in place, and deploy a seriously informed and funded program of prevention, treatment, and recovery. The book concludes with a list of resources.

Both reasoned and impassioned. (notes, further research, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Kirkus Starred Review

The Opioid Epidemic: ISBN 978-1-68282-299-9 / eBook: 978-1-68282-300-2
School Library Connection, Mar / Apr 2018

There is a wealth of news about the opioid epidemic these days, much of it apocalyptic. Most students will be aware of opioids, but they probably don't have much background knowledge. This volume lays out the history and the facts behind these substances. Marcovitz covers the science of pain treatment, addiction, and the history of the various opioid drugs and their effects on society. He also discusses the physical and emotional effects of opioids, various treatment options, as well as legal and medical solutions to the epidemic. The book includes side bars about different aspects of the epidemic, such as how it affects different populations and stories of individuals' experiences. It also has maps and photographs to illustrate aspects of opioid use. Students will find this a helpful resource for research topics and personal information if their own lives are impacted by the opioid crisis. The technical information is portrayed in an age-appropriate manner and many of the case studies are of famous people or of young adults. While the facts and statistics are startling, the book is even-handed and clear about the various issues. Additional Resources. Suzanne Libra, Librarian, Silver Hills Middle and Alternative Campus, Westminster, Colorado