- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Lyons Press; Reprint edition (August 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1493026666
- ISBN-13: 978-1493026661
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 178 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Fascinating. . . . thoroughly reported. . . . American Pain offers a window into America’s drug-addiction epidemic. (The Washington Post)
(Starred Review). . . . [An] exhilarating blow-by-blow account. . . . Journalism professor Temple dissects the . . . criminal operation and documents the rise and fall of American Pain with precision and authority in this highly readable true crime account. (Publishers Weekly)
“John Temple’s American Pain takes you on a hysterically funny, yet equally tragic, tour of Florida’s pill mill industry as the painkiller epidemic was reaching a fever pitch.... a must-read for anyone trying to understand this government-sanctioned drug and the destructive power of Big Pharma.”
—Melisa Wallack, Oscar-nominated co-writer of Dallas Buyers Club
“American Pain made me angrier with every page. Why? Because John Temple has so adeptly reported this story of how a handful of criminals and shady doctors in Florida profited from the poverty and addiction of the Appalachian South." —James Higdon, national bestselling author of The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History
“John Temple’s American Pain is as addicting a read as the little pills he writes about. Temple details the brazen operations of some of America’s largest pill mills and how they thrived in plain sight for years before the government took action.”
—Jason Ryan, author of Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs
In his masterful nonfiction book American Pain, John Temple lays bare the perfect storm of lax regulation, aggressive marketing, greed, and addiction that created an opioid epidemic. .. .Temple’s writing is propulsive (Foreword Magazine)
[Deadhouse is] fascinating … Temple invests his subjects with a warm humanity, providing insight into lives that are not nearly as glamorous as they appear in television dramas, but far more interesting. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
[Deadhouse gives] an insider’s view of one of the country’s most misunderstood professions. (Charleston Gazette)
Writing evenly and efficiently, [in Deadhouse] Temple will enlighten fans of the CSI television shows. Teens, especially fans of CSI and Mary Roach’s Stiff, will find the perspectives from two college-age interns particularly involving. (Booklist) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
My ill-informed view of the opium problem was that people who were addicted to pain medication were buying the drugs illegally and duping the system by going to multiple pharmacies to have a prescription filled. I was not aware of the extent to which big pharma has become more like drug kingpins.
I had no idea that a pain pill like Oxycontin was essentially legalized heroin. It's easy to see how so many Americans have become addicted. It starts with a prescription for pain medication. Maybe the pain is a result of an injury or surgery. Whatever the cause, the patient becomes dependent on the drugs. From that point on it is a downward spiral that affects all aspects of that person's life.
The book American Pain takes readers to the epicenter of the opium epidemic. Two characters right out of Breaking Bad get the ball rolling. Chris George and Derik Nolan are the Walter White and Jesse Pinkman real life counterparts. They start their fledgling enterprise in Florida, a state that had no regulations covering pain clinics. Advertising for doctors on Craigslist, Chris and his cohorts amass a fortune of more than forty million dollars in just over two years.
How did they do it? It starts with a clueless state government and a lack of oversight. With no one minding the store, Chris, and his employees are allowed to open multiple pill mills. They cater exclusively to addicts. It's legal drug dealing. Even after Broward County Florida becomes the epicenter of the Opium epidemic and the reality of what is happening becomes apparent, the newly elected Governor, Rick Scott, decides to shut down all efforts to get control over the situation. Too much regulation is his defense. Well, guess what Governor Scott? It was the lack of regulations that made your state responsible for thousands of overdose deaths and countless people turning into drug addicts. Only after pressure from all sides does Scott relent and regulators finally put a stop to the flow of pills.
Rather than going after the pill mills, wholesalers, and pharmaceutical industries, the cops and DEA focus on the addicts. They tear families apart by imprisoning addicts whose only crime is purchasing a legal pill outside of a pill mill. Pharmaceutical CEOs meanwhile become millionaires pushing addictive drugs, all the while denying that the drugs are addictive.
But then these utter gangsters find a few unscrupulous or naïve doctors to prescribe massive quantities of drugs to addicts, and leave death, destruction, and addiction in their wake. The irony is that the 'managers' could have made a tidy income by establishing a stable, legitimate pain-specialist medical practice- but they couldn't resist chasing the bigger high. Absolutely worth reading to understand the intersection of pain and profit in the modern age.
From a public policy perspective, Temple calls for greater controls on the supply of opiates, something that can yet be addressed. Told in a page turning style, this is a sobering look (no pun intended) that is causing many of us to discuss how we can create more effective approaches that limit access while providing treatment to those in need.
The book is like reading a suspense novel however, it is all true. Temple's research was thorough and his description of the characters made them come alive. He is nominated for an Edgar Award for best true crime and deserves to win.