American Epidemic

Reporting from the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis
Edited by:

A first-of-its kind collection of the most vivid reporting about the most lethal addiction crisis ever

“For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths—vehicle crashes—has been surpassed . . . by opioid overdoses.” —National Public Radio

Just a few years ago, the opioid crisis could be referred to as a “silent epidemic,” but it is no longer possible to argue that the scourge of opiate addiction being overlooked. This is in large part thanks to the extraordinary writings featured in this volume, which includes some of the most impactful reporting in the United States in recent years addressing the opiate addiction crisis. American Epidemic collects, for the first time, the key works of reportage and analysis that provide the best picture available of the origins, consequences, and human calamity associated with the epidemic.

Spirited, informed, and eloquently written, American Epidemic will serve as an essential introduction for anyone seeking insight into the deadliest drug crisis in American history.


“These pieces are brave, clear-eyed, heartbreaking and pragmatic—but above all, they’re impossible to put down.”
—Seth Mnookin, professor of science writing, MIT, and author of The Panic Virus and the New York Times bestselling Feeding the Monster
“John McMillian has masterfully assembled a crucial window into the origins, expansion, and deepening devastation of the latest drug abuse nightmare to menace our society. American Epidemic also demonstrates the ugly racial and economic disparities that cynically distort our reactions to drug abuse.”
—Douglas A. Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II

News and Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“A kaleidoscopic introduction to the devastation wrought by—and possible remedies for—the opioid crisis.”

Publishers Weekly

“Each piece is well-written, and together they bring light to a quiet but deadly scourge, create plenty of sympathy for its victims, and inspire readers to consider what society can do.”  

Books by John McMillian

Protest Nation
Words That Inspired a Century of American Radicalism

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John McMillian

The Radical Reader
A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John McMillian

Goodreads Reviews