When Peter Canning started work as a paramedic on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut, twenty-five years ago, he believed drug users were victims only of their own character flaws. Although he took care of them, he did not care for them. But as the overdoses escalated, Canning began asking his patients how they had gotten started on their perilous journeys. And while no two tales were the same, their heartrending similarities changed Canning's view and moved him to educate himself about the science of addiction. Armed with that understanding, he began his fight against the stigmatization of users.
In Killing Season, Canning tells stories of opioid overdose from a street-level vantage point. A first responder to hundreds of overdoses throughout the rise of America's epidemic, Canning has seen the impact of prescription painkillers, heroin, and the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl firsthand. Bringing us into the room with the victims of this epidemic, Canning explains how he came to favor harm reduction, which advocates for needle exchange, community naloxone, and safe-injection sites.
Stripping away the stigma of addiction through stories that are hard-hitting, poignant, sad, confessional, funny, and overall, human, Killing Season will change minds about the epidemic, help obliterate stigma, and save lives.
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