Heroin Is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me
In 2015, 52,000 people in the United States overdosed on drugs and died. Never in recorded history had narcotics killed so many Americans in a single year. According to New York Magazine, the drug-induced death toll was so staggering, it helped reduce life expectancy in the United States for the first time since 1993. Heroin is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me, named after an essay of Cook's that was read over 1.2 million times, is a collection of essays on the topic of addiction both previously published in Cook's "The Other Side of Addiction" series and unpublished. The book is designed to simultaneously inform and comfort those affected by the disease of addiction, particularly the families who bear witness to their loved ones' downward spiral into the world of addiction. Having addiction enter one's home can be isolating and terrifying. There are very little resources made available to the family members of those who become addicted to a substance. This book provides those enduring this utter nightmare with narratives and resources (terminology, additional reading in footnotes, and information on virtual/physical organizations) to empower the reader to push back against the stigma, statistics, and heartache attached to drug and alcohol addiction. In the following pages, you will hear from people who have "been there." Everyday warriors who fight tirelessly and endlessly to create change, in hopes another is saved from the same fate. Though some names have been changed, the pages contain real accounts from real people who battle addiction and are in recovery or love someone who struggles with addiction. Foreword written by PBS Executive Producer, Steve Rogers and Afterword written by State Congressman, Tom MacArthur. Alicia Cook is an established author and activist from New Jersey, where the rate of heroin overdose is three times the national average. Her work has appeared on the Huffington Post, CNN, USA Today, Teen Vogue, and many more. Her best-selling book of poetry, "Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately", was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards and her series, "The Other Side of Addiction", which focuses on the direct effect addiction has on not only users, but their families, is read by millions of people across the country. Her efforts to combat the heroin epidemic, which include writing, appearing on podcasts, and speaking to students and their parents, caught the attention of PBS Executive Producer, Steve Rogers who created an episode of his Emmy-nominated documentary series, "Here's the Story" around Cook and her efforts entitled "A Family Disease." The episode was dedicated to Cook's cousin, Jessica, who passed away from a drug overdose in 2006.