3 out of 4 stars
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After beating alcohol addiction, Robert Hayward thought that addiction would never rear its ugly head in his life again. He dropped his defenses and let pride in, and what came next was the nastiest, most expensive, and even legal drug addiction: opioid addiction. He had no idea that choosing a quick fix would lead him to be addicted to “the new miracle drug,” OxyContin. From the first high Robert got from this drug that was supposed to kill pain, he perceived that it would end up killing more than pain; it would kill him. Killing Pain by Robert Hayward details the heart-wrenching experience the author went through while being addicted to opioids and how the opioid pandemic came to be.
The author has an honors degree in Alcohol and Other Drugs Studies (AODS). Killing Pain is not his first book, as he detailed overcoming his alcohol addiction in The Thirteenth Step. The author’s brush with addiction and getting well again, along with his certifications on the matter, makes him a perfect candidate to tell his story and help others defeat addiction, which he calls a spiritual battle. I recommend this book to those wishing to understand addiction deeper. If you are addicted to opioids and heroin, you will find a kindred spirit in the author and know that you are not alone. The author also included his experiences of how he quit his addiction and how anyone in a similar situation can find help.
The author mentioned at the start of the book that it would be unpleasant to read. Well, that was only putting it lightly. He managed to be direct and graphic while using a simple writing style. Nothing was hard to understand or imagine. Robert Hayward described his feelings of highness and withdrawal so perfectly that it was almost as if I was with him when he was up there and when he came crashing down. While this was not an easy experience for me, it was certainly eye-opening. I got a front-row seat to see what it means to be an addict and how addicts do not choose that awful lifestyle.
I appreciated the author’s brutal honesty about his horrible actions, and somehow, all he elicited from me was compassion. The author wrote his story in a way that was so visual and so real that it captivated me and helped me understand that I should be more compassionate. The author was also very educative. He was detailed in explaining the history of the opioid pandemic and what certain drugs do to the body. This lesson was necessary for understanding the severity of addiction and how to get someone off it.
However, much of what the author wrote had no reference. Despite the author‘s certifications, it would have been better if most of what he wrote as fact had more backing than just his word of mouth. Also, I found a lot of what the author wrote to be repetitive. He would continuously bash himself negatively in the same way time and time again that it became exhausting reading the same negative sentences over again. While I believe the book received professional editing, another round won’t hurt; I found a few errors, and the font was too small. Because of the repetitiveness and lack of reference, I rate this book 3 out of 4. I did not rate it lower because I have no other issues with the book.
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