One of Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2022

Author of Dopesick, the New York Times bestselling book that inspired the Hulu limited series

New York Times Bestselling author of Dopesick and Factory Man

In her gripping, necessary, and deeply humane follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Dopesick, journalist Beth Macy brings us to the next frontier of the opioid crisis, telling the story of the everyday heroes fighting to stem the tide of drug overdose in communities that are too often left to fend for themselves, and of the activists and relatives of the dead who are still struggling for accountability in America’s courts.


Nearly a decade into the second wave of America's overdose crisis, pharmaceutical companies have yet to answer for the harms they created. As pending court battles against opioid makers, distributors, and retailers drag on, addiction rates have soared to record-breaking levels during the COVID pandemic, illustrating the critical need for leadership, urgency, and change. Meanwhile, there is scant consensus between law enforcement and medical leaders, nor an understanding of how to truly scale the programs that are out there, working at the ragged edge of capacity and actually saving lives.

Distilling this massive, unprecedented national health crisis down to its character-driven emotional core as only she can, Beth Macy takes us into the country’s hardest hit places to witness the devastating personal costs that one-third of America's families are now being forced to shoulder. Here we meet the ordinary people fighting for the least of us with the fewest resources, from harm reductionists risking arrest to bring lifesaving care to the homeless and addicted to the activists and bereaved families pushing to hold Purdue and the Sackler family accountable. These heroes come from all walks of life; what they have in common is an up-close and personal understanding of addiction that refuses to stigmatize—and therefore abandon—people who use drugs, as big pharma execs and many politicians are all too ready to do. 

Like the treatment innovators she profiles, Beth Macy meets the opioid crisis where it is—not where we think it should be or wish it was. Bearing witness with clear eyes, intrepid curiosity, and unfailing empathy, she brings us the crucial next installment in the story of the defining disaster of our era, one that touches every single one of us, whether directly or indirectly. A complex story of public health, big pharma, dark money, politics, race, and class that is by turns harrowing and heartening, infuriating and inspiring, Raising Lazarus is a must-read for all Americans.

What's Inside

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Praise

“When the Covid epidemic seized the headlines, America's overdose epidemic did not go away; in fact, it intensified. Beth Macy is one of the great chroniclers of how we got here and where we are headed. RAISING LAZARUS is a necessary companion to the urgent story she told in DOPESICK, a deeply reported, deeply moving, boots on the ground picture of what the crisis of addiction is doing to our country, and of the activists and ordinary people who are working to fight it. In that respect, this is a surprisingly hopeful book, the tale of a catastrophic crisis, but also of profound compassion and the resilience of the human spirit.”
 —Patrick Radden Keefe, bestselling author of Empire of Pain
"As if we needed one more reminder of Beth Macy's phenomenal narrative journalism, RAISING LAZARUS takes us to the front lines of the fight for the nation's health. Macy finds unfamiliar heroes in places most of us would lack the will or imagination to explore. It is Macy's commitment to defamiliarizing the opioid epidemic that has, strangely and thankfully, helped so many Americans understand that none of our families are alone in this brutally pervasive fight for our lives."—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
"Macy brings her empathetic reporter's craft to the oft-ignored problem solvers on the ground---those who, as Macy writes, didn't wait around for justice. Macy didn't either. Unlike so many laws, court decisions, and news stories, Raising Lazarus does right by the victims of the opioid crisis"—Sarah Smarsh, New York Times bestselling author of Heartland
"Raising Lazarus confirms Beth Macy’s status as America's nonfiction laureate of the opioid crisis. This book is a force of inspiration that will make you believe not in miracles but in work – the sheer innovative, determined, empathic work of ordinary Americans. They are shifting the rightful place of shame from drug users to drugmakers."—Evan Osnos, New York Times bestselling author of Wildland
“If Dopesick illuminated the hidden world of opioid addiction, Raising Lazarus puts it under a microscope, showing us what we can do socially, politically, and personally to curb it. It is a book of profound human connection, filled with stories of those determined to save their communities no matter the cost. Macy refuses to let us look away from this urgent, Sisyphean task. Raising Lazarus is humbling, dazzling and infused with hope. Beth Macy is, quite literally, a life saver.”—Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises
“Beth Macy has done it again. Her clear-sighted, deeply humane reporting takes readers to the front lines of the opioid crisis, where a grassroots network of brave activists work to defy stigma, save lives and hold power to account in the long shadow of the Sackler dynasty. This is potent, essential storytelling and a much-needed reminder of our common humanity that points, ultimately, towards hope.”—Jessica Bruder, author of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
“Beth Macy is America’s indispensable guide to the opioid epidemic. She brings great humanity and unparalleled storytelling to her work. Through her, the horrors of opioids are better known but, as this update makes clear, the suffering goes on. We owe her a great debt.”—Anne Case and Angus Deaton, New York Times bestselling authors of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
This essential book is a beautifully crafted work of nonfiction literature, propelled by fierce compassion and a yearning for justice. Beth Macy has an extraordinary gift for encapsulating our nation’s greatest challenges in gripping, intimate, and wise stories of everyday American struggles. RAISING LAZARUS is at once an unblinking and masterful diagnosis of the root causes of our historic overdose crisis and an inspiring and hopeful call to action. Not to be missed."—Carl Erik Fisher, author of The Urge: Our History of Addiction
"Through brilliant prose and journalistic genius, Beth Macy once again opens our hearts and takes us inside the battle to end America’s overdose crisis. RAISING LAZARUS is a coming home story for many of us on the frontlines—a masterfully written, well researched, honest, and hopeful account like no other. Macy’s storytelling is unmatched and translates our experiences into a literary masterpiece—offering a prescriptive path forward to curb this national health crisis."
 —Ryan Hampton, person in recovery from addiction, national advocate, and author of Unsettled and American Fix
"Macy's harrowing account of the opioid epidemic in which hundreds of thousands have already died masterfully interlaces stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference." -praise for Dopesick
 —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice
"A harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency...a masterwork of narrative journalism, interlacing stories of communities in crisis with dark histories of corporate greed and regulatory indifference." -praise for Dopesick
 —New York Times Book Review
"This book is comprehensive, compassionate and forceful. No matter what you already know about the opioid crisis, Dopesick's toughness and intimacy make it a must." -praise for DopesickJanet Maslin, New York Times
"An impressive feat of journalism, monumental in scope and urgent in its implications...gritty and heartbreaking." -praise for DopesickThe Boston Globe
"You've probably heard pieces of this story before, but in Dopesick we get something original: a page-turning explanation." -praise for Dopesick
 —Matt McCarthy, USA Today
"Macy has waded into a public health morass that has also become a political minefield...Macy's strengths as a reporter are on full display when she talks to people, gaining the trust of chastened users, grieving families, exhausted medical workers and even a convicted heroin dealer, whose scheduled two-hour interview with the author ended up stretching to more than six hours." -praise for DopesickJennifer Szalai, New York Times
"In a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers": These nonfiction narratives are more stirring and dramatic than most novels. And Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won't be putting this book down." -praise for Factory ManJanet Maslin, New York Times
"Nonfiction storytelling at its finest.... It does what the best business books should: It delivers a heavily researched, highly entertaining story, at the end of which you realize you've learned something.... This is a great American story, the kind that we don't read often enough." -praise for Factory ManBryan Burrough, New York Times

“A profoundly disconcerting book that, with luck, will inspire reform to aid the dopesick and punish their suppliers.”

KIRKUS, Starred Review
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