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Beth Macy follows her bestseller 'Dopesick' with a look at the helpers in the opioid crisis

Beth Macy combines deep shoe-leather reporting with the heart and instincts of a storyteller. She has spent much of the past decade applying those skills to revealing the truth of the opioid crisis in America.

Photo by Josh Meltzer

Four years ago she published the best-selling book “Dopesick,” about how big pharmaceutical companies pushed OxyContin and other drugs until countless people became hopelessly addicted.

That book became a Hulu limited series starring Michael Keaton, and the series is nominated for 14 Emmy Awards at next month’s ceremony.

This week her new book is out. It’s called “Raising Lazarus” and it’s a follow-up to “Dopesick,” focusing mostly on the helpers—the folks down at street level helping people with addictions stay safe and, eventually, get clean.

It’s tough work just to write about it, and that work has taken a toll on Macy and her family. As she wrote about the damage the big drug companies have done, she had a suspicious van show up behind her house in Roanoke, Va.

But she still talks about her subject with the same passion she writes about it—the passion of someone with a vital story to tell, if only enough people will listen.

You should listen.

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.