Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies that Nearly Killed Me Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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“This is a story she needed to tell; and the rest of the country needs to listen.” (New York Times Book Review)
“This vital memoir will change how we look at the opioid crisis and how the media talks about it. A deeply moving and emotional read, Strung out challenges our preconceived ideas of what addiction looks like.” (Stephanie Land, New York Times best-selling author of MaidIn)
This deeply personal and illuminating memoir about her 15-year struggle with heroin, Khar sheds profound light on the opioid crisis and gives a voice to the over two million people in America currently battling with this addiction.
Growing up in LA, Erin Khar hid behind a picture-perfect childhood filled with excellent grades, a popular group of friends and horseback riding. After first experimenting with her grandmother’s expired painkillers, Khar started using heroin when she was thirteen. The drug allowed her to escape from pressures to be perfect and suppress all the heavy feelings she couldn’t understand.
This fiercely honest memoir explores how heroin shaped every aspect of her life for the next 15 years and details the various lies she told herself, and others, about her drug use. With enormous heart and wisdom, she shows how the shame and stigma surrounding addiction, which fuels denial and deceit, is so often what keeps addicts from getting help. There is no one path to recovery, and for Khar, it was in motherhood that she found the inner strength and self-forgiveness to quit heroin and fight for her life.
Strung Out is a life-affirming story of resilience while also a gripping investigation into the psychology of addiction and why people turn to opioids in the first place.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 4 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 25, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #24,381 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#13 in Drug Dependency (Audible Books & Originals)
#108 in Drug Dependency Recovery
#318 in Biographies of Women
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I love the emotions she showed, however I feel like it sometimes came across flat. As one who has dealt with traumas like this, I get sometimes you just want to speak matter of factly so that you're not reliving the emotions. I just feel like there were times where the emotions could have shined a little more.
Now here's where she made me roll my eyes...continually...
She is biracial (white and...maybe Persian? Maybe Armenian...cant remember atm), but it's clear she knows and possibly even identifies more with her white side. This is not the problem - you grow up how you grow up; the problem is all this "acknowledging her privilege" stuff. It came off as phony and something to play on bc that is today's climate.
But with all the money she has and how "bad" she felt about the fact that she passes as a full white woman, I read nothing about what she has done for POC to help to ratify the issues she saw. I saw nothing about any POC that she was close to. Like...what was the point of mentioning the disparity several times for you to do nothing about it? Not everyone has to be a freedom fighter, but you mentioned it for what? To acknowledge it? Ok...AND? Good for you; a white woman who knows she's privileged...What are you doing with your privilege for POC? What are you doing to close the gap?
She could be doing things, I'm not saying she isn't. I'm just saying she used that card like how most people use mental health in writing - romanticizing an issue just to make sales. If that's not true, that's how it came off.
There's more on that topic I could say, but I'll leave it there.
Anyway...I did enjoy it. I'm a writer myself and I am writing about someone close to me who is an addict, so it helped to understand a little more about how she thinks. I'm also glad Erin made it out and has a wonderful and beautiful family that loves and cherishes her; everyone deserves love.
Khar grew up privileged in Los Angeles, getting great grades, cheerleading, horseback riding, and with expensive cars, clothing, houses, and popular friends. From the outside, she had all she could ever want or need and more. Her drug use began at age eight when she found an expired prescription for her grandmother's Darvocet in the medicine chest. She started using heroin at age thirteen to escape from emotions and feelings that she didn't understand.
For the next fifteen years, Khar used, went into rehabilitation, and relapsed, with the shame and stigma of her addiction increasing along with her denials and lies. It took motherhood for her to break from her addiction and get the help she needed. The book addresses the issues of stigma and the psychology of addiction well.
Every parent should read this book, as should middle and high school age students, educators, and parent teacher organizations. It is one thing to provide our kids with classroom drug prevention education. It is something very different to read about an individual's personal experience of it and how quickly it all spirals out of control, particularly in the current climate where opioid deaths continue to climb.
But her story rings so true... to my own story, to people I have known who struggled with addiction. At times, I was stunned by her deep insight. Frustrated that she wouldn't allow herself to be saved. Amazed by her willingness to keep fighting for air, for clarity, for peace. In the end, it really is a story of redemption, resilience, and a reminder that sometimes love can be the thing that save us.
The author was privileged, but money is a double edged sword. Altho it can pay for the best treatment and keeps many addicts away from the potentially lethal dangers of prostitution, it also pays for the drugs themselves. Wealth for an addict can be a deadly trap, we've lost many shining stars.
Addicts choose their enablers well, they are crafty manipulators. Erin was furious at her mother for being in denial about her early sexual abuse, but this tendency toward denial served Erin well when she wanted her mother to turn a blind eye to her drug abuse. Addicts can't have it both ways!! And her father, well, he finally figured out before it was too late that love can kill.
This is a cautionary tale about addiction with that rare happy ending. Erin is a sympathetic narrator and very very human.