Book details

Fentanyl Nation

Toxic Politics and America's Failed War on Drugs

Author: Ryan Hampton

Fentanyl Nation

Fentanyl Nation

About This Book

A passionate call to abandon ineffective drug-war policies, reframe addiction as a public health issue, and end the Fentanyl crisis.

The American overdose crisis has reached...

Page Count
On Sale

Book Details

A passionate call to abandon ineffective drug-war policies, reframe addiction as a public health issue, and end the Fentanyl crisis.

The American overdose crisis has reached record-breaking heights; preventable overdoses are now responsible for more annual deaths than traffic accidents, suicide, or gun violence. Fentanyl—a potent, inexpensive, and easy-to-manufacture synthetic opioid—has thoroughly contaminated the drug supply, and while it frequently makes front page news across the country, it remains poorly understood by policymakers and the public. Why, despite all of our efforts to raise awareness and billions of dollars of investments, does this emergency keep getting worse?

In Fentanyl Nation, recovery advocate Ryan Hampton separates the facts from the fiction surrounding Fentanyl, and shows how overdose deaths are ultimately policy failures. Instead of investing in education, harm reduction, effective treatment, and recovery, we have doubled down on more police, more incarceration, and harsher penalties for those caught in the grip of addiction. Yet history has shown time and time again that it is impossible to arrest our way out of a public health crisis; the government used the same strategy to fight the crack-cocaine epidemic of the 80s and 90s, and it only resulted in racially disparate policing and the destruction of marginalized communities.

This urgent and informative manifesto reveals how prejudice, discrimination, and stigma have been codified into our drug laws, and calls for a compassionate and evidence-based approach that would address the core causes of addiction and save countless lives. We can end this crisis, but only if we get out of our own way.

Imprint Publisher

St. Martin's Press



In The News

“Ryan Hampton’s voice and advocacy is needed now more than ever. People need compassion and pragmatic solutions, not toxic stigma and criminalization.”
—Elton John, founder, Elton John AIDS Foundation

"Fentanyl Nation is a compelling, insightful, and poignant book about what really caused our disastrous overdose crisis—and how to end it. Ryan Hampton helps us understand why pain treatment isn’t the enemy and why the overdose death rate tripled as the medical supply was cut. To effectively fight overdose, addiction, and pain, we first need the whole story. Hampton gives us that."
—Maia Szalavitz, New York Times contributor and bestselling author of Unbroken Brain

"The United States is in a catastrophic addiction and overdose crisis, and desperately needs new solutions. Fentanyl Nation is a moving, scientifically rigorous book that offers exactly those solutions. If you love life, and want to help other people live, you should read it now."
—Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream, Lost Connections, and Stolen Focus

"Fentanyl Nation is a gripping, powerful, and profoundly useful book about a truly historic crisis. It unwinds the twisted political, cultural, and legal strands of the fentanyl story to weave a fascinating and ultimately hopeful tale. We are lucky to have Ryan Hampton's passionate and clear voice—now we need to listen, and quickly."
—Dr. Carl Erik Fisher, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University and author of The Urge

"Fentanyl Nation
illuminates the overdose crisis, the complexities and failures of our drug control strategies, and the importance of reform. Those of us doing the work to save lives can support justice and a rational drug policy that connects policing to positive public health outcomes—understanding that harm reduction and saving drug users' lives are not mutually exclusive to reducing crime and disorder.”
—Lieutenant Diane M. Goldstein (Ret.), Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

About the Creators

Fentanyl Nation

Fentanyl Nation