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In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids Paperback – June 23, 2020
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“With this smart, riveting, real-life account, the author proves himself a convincing and effective advocate for opioid use reform. A harrowing cautionary narrative that speaks to patients and physicians alike on the ugly reality of the enduring opioid epidemic.” -- Kirkus Reviews
“Bioethicist Travis Rieder uses his own experience with opioid dependence to powerfully highlight how the American healthcare system needs to reform its approach to pain management.” -- Paste Magazine, The Best Books of June 2019
“A deep historical dive into the history of opioid use in America, the science behind pain and pain treatment, and the medical practice surrounding pain and how it’s changed over the last few decades.” -- Inquiring Minds podcast
“As an academic bioethicist, Rieder provides a philosophical lens to his lived experiences. It is this contribution where In Pain departs from other published narratives on pain and substance use…. Rieder discusses moral philosophy concepts such as first- and second-order desires, as well as duties and obligations, in digestible prose that is as profound as it is engaging. In Pain is an invitation for compassion for the millions of people around the world suffering with pain and substance use disorders, but it is also a call to action, not just for more responsible opioid prescribing but for a fundamental change to how pain management is delivered.” -- Science
“An unflinching account of agony and addiction….Travis Rieder’s unique point of view and professional knowledge deliver a harrowing account with compassion at its core.” -- Providence Journal
"Pain is inevitably both subjective and poorly understood and managed, as Travis Rieder, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, explores in In Pain. ....Having lived through the “many costs” of opioids, Rieder endorses a more complex view of pain that considers not only the subjective feeling of pain intensity, but also how pain affects one’s functioning and overall quality of life." -- Health Affairs
"Rieder’s thoughtful approach to scrutinizing the opioid epidemic is strengthened by his honest, detailed, and often cringe-inducing recounting of his own experience with the powerful painkillers. In Pain is a fascinating and engrossing read for anybody who aspires to be an educated consumer of healthcare. But it also should be required reading for every medical student vowing to “do no harm” in a system that offers all-too-easy access to these powerful drugs." -- New York Journal of Books
"Rieder’s use of his own experience as a basis for his writing enables a broader approach, expanding the circle of empathy beyond the clinic, and inviting us all to reconsider our relationship with pain — our own as well as that of others. It’s a book that anyone who cares for people in pain should consider reading." -- Los Angeles Review of Books
"Rieder is uniquely equipped to narrate not only his own story but also a broader look at America’s opioid problem. His prose is clear and compelling....The result is an important book that goes hand in hand with Beth Macy’s Dopesick. Readers of both will not only be enlightened but likely find their attitudes about this devastating crisis transformed."
“This book is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks the opioid crisis can’t touch them...It’s part memoir, part indictment of the doctors and pharmaceutical companies that push painkillers without addressing the addiction issues that come with them.” -- NPR.org
About the Author
Travis Rieder, PhD, is faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, where he directs the Master of Bioethics degree program.
- Publisher : Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 23, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062854658
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062854650
- Item Weight : 8.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.72 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #708,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I read this book in one (extended) sitting, as I found that I could not put it down before I learned how Rieder's own story ended and what his suggestions were for mitigating the damaging effects of mismanagement of pain in the US. It was an intense read at times, but understanding the issue from the perspective of someone who had firsthand experience will force one to consider how we as a society view drugs and drug "addicts." I think this book is an important contribution to the ongoing discussion about what good health care is. I highly recommend it!
The author weaves the compelling and tragic narrative of his own traumatic injury and resulting opioid dependence together with a clear-eyed and compassionate assessment of the ways that we, collectively, let pain patients down, and why that matters.
It is also much more than that. The book itself, and the fact that it exists, is deeply inspirational, because it demonstrates for the reader how a person can endure some of the worst experiences imaginable - from blinding, endless pain; to abandonment by those who have a duty to care and heal; to the psychic and physical depths of opioid withdrawal - and transform those experiences into something entirely different. Instead of being broken by them, the author chose to use them as a way to help others. Because at bottom, In Pain read to me as a call to compassion, a call to take each other's suffering seriously, and to work harder to challenge our own assumptions and our own complacency about both pain patients and those who have become dependent on or addicted to opioids. The author makes the fact that he is a bioethicisit, a philosopher, figure centrally into why he decided to write In Pain. How appropriate that his story is living proof that the philosopher's stone is no myth.
This book deserves to be read and reflected on by everyone.
Doctors should be careful to note this was short-term drug dependency due to surgery and P.T. Doctors treating Long-term chronic patients should follow the Clinical Guidelines of Pharmacotherapy for pain, and study current Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Discoveries, 2018 edition. But I still, picture your wife, frantically racing home during her lunch break in fear for your life, her sanity, and your marriage. Good luck Travis.