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Adults, Member Events

Community Conversation with Beth Macy, Josh Meltzer, and Other Fighters from the Opioid Front Line

Sunday, August 12, 2018

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Southwest Virginia is arguably on the frontline of the opioid epidemic, a crisis that has torn apart families, killed tens of thousands and bedeviled law enforcement and health care agencies across the nation. Nearly all of us know someone or can share a story about how this issue has affected our lives.

New York Times-bestselling author Beth Macy and award-winning author and educator Josh Meltzer know more than their fair share of stories: they recently traveled the region to document the families and first responders intimately affected by this issue. Their new book chronicling these stories, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, will be released August 7.

A companion exhibition of their narratives and images, Portraits from the Frontline of the Opioid Epidemic, will be on view at the Taubman beginning August 4.  

You're invited to join us for a community conversation featuring Beth, Josh, and special guest panelists Vinnie Dabney, Sister Beth Davies, and Patricia Mehrmann on how to mobilize and move forward in battling the opioid epidemic. A resource guide for individuals and families struggling with this issue will be available at the end of the discussion. The discussion will be held in the Taubman Theater.

Immediately following the event, Beth will sign copies of her book at the Museum's new gift shop, Steger Creek. Josh will be available in the gallery to answer individual questions. 

This event is free and open to the public.

About Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America

In this masterful narrative, Macy takes readers into the epicenter of America's twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction, poignantly captured by Meltzer’s intimate black-and-white photography. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it's a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched.

Through unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Macy and Meltzer show, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy and Meltzer demonstrate, through word and image, reason to hope and signs of the spirit and tenacity necessary in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves and their families.

Macy’s book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America will be released on August 7, 2018, by Little, Brown and Company. Her book will be available for purchase onsite through Steger Creek. 

Beth Macy and Josh Meltzer: Portraits from the Frontline of the Opioid Epidemic is curated by Eva Thornton, Assistant Curator for the Taubman Museum of Art, and by artists Beth Macy and Josh Meltzer.

Both the exhibition and educational program support are generously sponsored in part by Carilion Clinic.