New “Opium Eater” excerpt on

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North America is in the grip of an opiate epidemic that now kills more people than car crashes. But despite all the overdose and addiction risks, opioids are still the most prescribed treatment for chronic long-term pain. When Toronto author Carlyn Zwarenstein was diagnosed with an inflammatory spine disease, the young mom cautiously turned to the synthetic opioid tramadol to keep her life and family together. In a new memoir, she confronts the drug’s risks and taboos—including the psychotropic effects explored by famed opium eater Thomas de Quincey. The following is an excerpt from Opium Eater: The New Confessions, out this month from Nonvella.

As a girl, I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories, and read and reread Arthur Conan Doyle’s erotically measured lines about the famous seven percent solution of cocaine…

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