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Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis (2020)

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  • National Best Seller
  • Shortlisted for the 2021 BC Book Awards' George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature
  • Shortlisted for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes, for both the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes
  • Shortlisted for the 2021 J. W. Dafoe Book Prize

Overdose is a necessary and searching investigation into a devastating epidemic that should never have happened. Benjamin Perrin painstakingly shows that it need not continue if we, as a society, heed the evidence.
— Gabor Maté, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

An astonishing and powerful look at the ongoing opioid crisis

North America is in the middle of a health emergency. Life expectancies are declining. Someone is dying every two hours in Canada from illicit drug overdose. Fentanyl has become a looming presence - an opioid more powerful, pervasive, and deadly than any previous street drug. The victims are many - and often not whom we might expect. They include the poor and forgotten but also our neighbors: professionals, students, and parents. Despite the thousands of deaths, these victims have remained largely invisible. But not anymore.

Benjamin Perrin, a law and policy expert, shines a light in this darkest of corners - and his findings challenge many assumptions about the crisis. Why do people use drugs despite the risk of overdosing? Can we crack down on the fentanyl supply? Do supervised consumption sites and providing "safe drugs" enable the problem? Which treatments work? Would decriminalizing all drugs help or do further harm?

In this urgent and humane look at a devastating epidemic, Perrin draws on behind-the-scenes interviews with those on the frontlines, including undercover police officers, intelligence analysts, border agents, prosecutors, health-care professionals, Indigenous organizations, activists, and people who use drugs. Not only does he unveil the many complexities of this situation, but he also offers a new way forward - one that may save thousands of lives.

File Duration
00. Foreword.mp3 8m37s
01. What Is the Opioid Crisis.mp3 13m35s
02. Why Is Fentanyl Killing So Many People.mp3 20m6s
03. Why Do People Start Using Why Can't They Stop.mp3 43m5s
04. Has Criminalizing Drugs Failed.mp3 16m58s
05. Why Are Dealers Killing Their Customers.mp3 14m42s
06. Can We Stop Fentanyl at Its Source.mp3 32m50s
07. Who's Been Hardest Hit.mp3 28m14s
08. Can We Prosecute Our Way Out.mp3 39m33s
09. What Is Naloxone and Is It The Solution.mp3 37m8s
10. Don't Supervised Injection Sites Enable Drug Use.mp3 41m22s
11. Is Providing ''Safe Drugs'' Giving Up on People.mp3 25m58s
12. How Can We Help People Stop Using.mp3 29m6s
13. Won't Decriminalization Make Things Worse.mp3 50m25s
14. How Can We Solve This Crisis.mp3 28m37s
15. Appendix - Vancouver Declaration on Responding to the Opioid Crisis.mp3 6m44s
Total Duration 7h17m00s