What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us
Published by: MennoMedia
Imprint: Herald Press
When a near-fatal illness led his doctors to prescribe narcotics, media consultant Timothy McMahan King ended up where millions of others have: addicted. Eventually King learned to manage pain without opioids—but not before he began asking profound questions about the spiritual and moral nature of addiction, the companies complicit in creating the opioid epidemic, and the paths toward healing and recovery.
We have become a society not only damaged by addiction but fueled by it. In Addiction Nation, King investigates the ways that addiction robs us of freedom and holds us back from being fully human. Through stories, theology, philosophy, and cultural analysis, King examines today’s most common addictions and their destructive consequences. In stark yet intimate prose, he looks not only at the rise of opioid abuse but at policy, pain, virtue, and habit. He also unpacks research showing patterns of addiction to technology, stress, and even political partisanship.
Addiction of any kind dims the image of God and corrupts who we were created to be. Addiction Nation nudges us toward healing from the ravages of addiction and draws us toward a spirituality sturdy enough to sate our deepest longings.
~Timothy Johnson, New York Times–bestselling author and former senior medical contributor, ABC News
“Timothy McMahan King writes from a deep well fed by an amazing personal experience with opioid addiction that led to unique insights about recovery in the context of his Christian faith. His words of hard-won wisdom should be read by individuals, churches, and any organization yearning for fresh ideas about how to understand this national epidemic.”
~Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
“Addictions are too often condescendingly judged as indulgence born in a cycle of self-absorption. In Addiction Nation, Timothy McMahan King probes the opioid crisis personally, theologically, medically, and systemically. If King can find himself trapped in a cycle with opioids, so can you. This book is an eye-opener, a summons for those with quick judgments to think again, and for America’s churches to become active in compassion for what is, by all accounts, a growing problem.”
~Richard Rohr, found of the Center for Action and Contemplation
“Addiction Nation offers an important message at a critical time. Our culture of addiction—as evidenced by the opioid epidemic—needs practical and spiritual guidance. Timothy McMahan King offers trustworthy insights drawn from his own experience of addiction as well as from scientific research and spirituality. I believe this book can help our nations, our families, and individuals recover and find healing!”
“African American communities suffered the infiltration of death-dealing heroin in the 1970s and the atom bomb of crack in the 1980s. Our cries rarely made it to the pages of the New York Times, and few black drug addicts ever got to tell their story, though they writhed with the same agony fleshed out in Addiction Nation. Timothy McMahan King does not share a white addiction story. His story reveals the indiscriminate terror of addiction in the lives of human beings. I want every American to read this book. I want each reader to understand the horror of addiction through the framework of my friend’s struggle. And after turning the last page, I pray each reader closes their eyes and imagines the diverse mosaic of America in the clutches of this beast. Maybe then we might all be set free.”~Lisa Sharon Harper, author of The Very Good Gospel and founder and president of Freedom Road
“That Timothy McMahan King survived the clutches of opioid addiction is a miracle. That he lived to tell the harrowing tale is a gift to the rest of us. Everyone battles the beast of addiction, whether it is to substances or to some other form of unbridled consumption we’ve deemed somehow more socially acceptable. If we are to find our collective way out of addiction’s societal morass, we need a voice and vision such as King’s—steady-eyed and compassionate, rational and reasoned, full of hope and rooted in grace—to lead the way. At once sweeping and deeply personal in its scope, Addiction Nation is an essential resource for anyone touched by addiction, which is all of us.”~Cathleen Falsani, award-winning religion journalist and author of The God Factor
“With emotional honesty, intellectual integrity, and spiritual sensitivity, Timothy McMahan King tells a story that may be difficult for many of us to read. But this story is our story. It is the story of our culpability in a broken narrative that will not be redeemed without truth-telling and authentic lament. This book may be one of the most important books for this generation.”~Soong-Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism and associate professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary
“In his engaging book, Addiction Nation, Timothy McMahan King contends that our national opioid crisis is no accident. Addiction is not a choice that a few moral degenerates opt into but rather a pervasive and seductive dynamic in our culture that requires us to opt out. Through eyes of faith, King considers how we can ‘be not conformed’ to a world that fosters such idolatries.”~William R. Miller, distinguished emeritus professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico
“The most holistic and thoughtful consideration of the addiction crisis in America, brimming with empathy, compassion, and hope.”~Jim Wallis, New York Times–bestselling author of America’s Original Sin, president of Sojourners, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine
"Reading Addiction Nation was part schooling of mind-numbing brain awareness, part introspection of what a personal life means, part thoughtful negotiation with my mind and a thorough look at my personal religious values. Yes, it was fascinating and exhausting and very helpful in changing some of my own ideals and values."~Monica West, Manchester Ink Link