Can you imagine deliberately sending your child to jail? Some parents of drug addicted children are so exhausted that they know they can rest for a few nights if their loved one is locked up, safer in prison than on the streets.
This is one of the heartbreaking anecdotes that Amy C. Sullivan recounts in her new book, “Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss, and Redemption in the Rehab State”, based on interviews with former drug addicts, members of family and others in the network of opioid use, treatment, recovery and loss. She points out that this opioid crisis continues to ravage families and communities, with more than 450,000 Americans having overdosed since the late 1990s.
Sullivan, professor of history at Macalester College, points to the complexity of this epidemic from all perspectives – drug use, parenthood, harm reduction, medication, abstinence and stigma and challenges current treatment models, inequalities in health care and the criminal justice system that treats people of color differently from whites who are addicted.
“Opioid Reckoning” (University of Minnesota Press), will launch at 7 pm Monday, October 25, at the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center in Macalester, 3 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul. The program will be a hybrid event with a panel discussion featuring Sullivan and two of the narrators who contributed their stories to the book: mother and lawyer Ann Perry and addiction medicine specialist Robert Levy. Joe Linstroth, director of media relations at the college, will be the moderator.
This event is free and open to the public. Register to attend in person at z.umn.edu/1025p. To attend virtually, register at z.umn.edu/1025z.