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On Pills and Needles: The Relentless Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction
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On Pills and Needles: The Relentless Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  23 reviews
When Rick Van Warner found himself searching abandoned buildings and dangerous streets looking for his missing son, he had no idea that the synthetic, pill-form heroin that had snared his teen was already killing so many. In the years of pain and heartache that followed as he tried to save his son from opioid addiction, Van Warner discovered what the American public is jus ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 17th 2018 by Baker Books
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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J.K. Turner
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
My Rating: Put it on your list

Level: Easy, moderate length (250+), but reads quickly

A detailed summary of the book is difficult to do. The subtitle more or less says everything you need to know about the book. Van Warner writes a first hand account of watching is his son struggle with addiction to opioids, starting as a teenager and extending through his mid twenties. The book is broken into 25 broad chapters that generally follow a chronological pattern of thought, but not always. There
Jason Weber
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Every parent of a middle school, high school, and college kid should read this book.
Thanks to the author for sharing his family’s story!
Opioid addiction is a major problem in this country that doesn’t see color, religion, sex, or anything. It can affect anyone at anytime!
Jen Bradbury
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Over the past few years, media coverage has made me increasingly aware of the opioid epidemic plaguing the United States. As a youth worker, I believe I have a responsibility to educate myself about issues that affect teenagers in the United States. That way, when the teens I work with are either directly or indirectly affected by them, I am at least a little equipped to care for them.

In an effort to better understand the opioid epidemic, I read Rick Van Warner’s On Pills and Needles: The Relent
Sherri Smith
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. So good that I had a difficult putting it down. The story is about Rick Van Warner's son who has become addicted to Opiod's. The stress, trauma and devastation that wracks within families that has a member addicted to pills. 

This was one book where I wanted to skip the suspense and head to the back of the book just to find out the ending. Did his son survive or die? But I fought against the urge and read each and every painful page. The amount of time spent on their son to bring
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
On Pills and Needles: The Relentless Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction is a touching memoir by Rick Van Warner. The book is sadly very relevant for today. The United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic; according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 116 people died every day from opiod-related drug overdoses in 2016. As Van Warner shows his son’s struggles, he also shows that those addicted to opioids are much more than a statistic on a piece of p ...more
Harris Young
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm devastated, and I'm inspired. In On Pills and Needles, author Rick Van Warner takes on two challenges: He bares his soul, essentially, as he invites readers to follow along as he and his family cope with one of four children's eight years of brutal drug addiction. Second, based on solid research, he shows how the big-budget pharmaceutical industry has pretty much bought out the government so the drug manufacturers can keep making money off their dangerously addictive pills. I read this book ...more
Sally Ewan
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Heartbreaking story about a young man's addiction to opioids and how his family tried to help him. I admire their perseverance and dedication to him. It was interesting to read about how the husband and wife alternated in their approach to the problem and willingness to continue trying--while this caused some conflict in their marriage, it also acted as a way to keep going, rather than being alone in the attempt to intervene. I'm glad their story ended well.
Lovely Loveday
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
On Pills and Needles: The Relentless Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction
by Rick Van Warner is a heartfelt and vividly real look at a family dealing with addiction. A story that will shed light on the real addiction that many have with Opioids. When the need to satisfy an addition destroys young lives and wreaks havoc on families throughout the country each and every day. On Pills and Needles is a real eyeopener that is sure to stay with you long after you finish this emotional novel.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting, quick read, well written... just wish it went a little more into his experience with either the prescription drug issue and/or the legitimacy or illegitimacy of expensive rehabs. The book did a good job covering all the aspects of the prescription drug problem, but I would be interested in what someone who has been through the recovery process would recommend to improve it.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was probably more of a 3.5 rating. The story was good - and heart wrenching. However, it felt like it jumped around and there were parts I didn’t understand how they fit together. I can only imagine that must be what it feels like to the dad, but I struggled with that as a reader. I also felt like the book just ended.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I wish this book had used a more linear chronological framework to build the story around but it does hold some interesting insights into the opiate crisis. Recommended for anyone questioning how we as a nation reached this point but from an individual's point of view.
Maureen Tapio
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A moving, detailed and personal account

Author Rick brings his first person experience in an eye opening account of the impact a national epidemic had on one family, his. And while unvarnished and gritty, it is still a story of persistent love, and continuing hope. Highly recommended, an admirable work. May God continue to bless Rick and the Van Warner family. RT
Frank Sabatini
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. For me, it was a page-turner. The message: never give up on your children or grandchildren. The action plan: from the moment of their conception, treat your children as the source of the greatest joy in your life and humankind--because they surely are. Inspirational.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-won
I won a copy of this book.

We all hear about the opioid addiction that Americans are struggling with, every night on the news. This books chronicles one father's journey to save his son. Quick and informative read. I would recommend this book to parents because it can happen in your family too.
Lane Corley
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grateful for this book. Walks through the struggles of a Father in dealing with an addicted son. Can provide support to many who are walking this road. Would have liked for there to be more lessons learned for future parents. However, I will recommend this book to others.
NancyL Luckey
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the United Methodist Women's Reading Program. It is, by far, one of the most heart-wrenching and personal books on the opioid crises and how it affects friends and family. Highly recommended!
Tracy Morton
This book was a bit of a downer. So little good happens in it. I listened to the audiobook so my view may possibly be in part to the narrator who used an aggressive voice often.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A heartbreaking story of a father trying to save his son from the endless cycle of drug abuse (namely, opioids).
Will get back to reviewing this in depth at a later date
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked how the author was honest about the story. I liked also how we got to see how hard it is to deal with.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Feb 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaway, recmemoir
**I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.
I really struggled to finish this one. There are some valid critiques of rehabs and one size fits all addiction treatment in here, which I did appreciate. But this book desperately needed an editor. The sanctimonious tone throughout was really off-putting. I'm also wary of books written by family members of addicts in general, so keep that in mind. There's a real lack of self-awareness throughout the book. There are far better books a
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
For me, I thought On Pills and Needles covers a view I haven't seen too often with any addiction: the perspective of a working and troubled father. Usually, I tend to see third-person accounts from mothers, doctors, or a first-person one from the one who is recovering from whatever addiction it was that haunted them. That angle perked my interest in this memoir.

The other was learning more about the "recent" opioid outbreak. Looks like I found another book that I can wave around as an example of
Bethany Pagel
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2018
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Jul 05, 2018
phil unruh
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2018
rated it did not like it
Apr 04, 2018
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2018
Lindsey Walker
rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2019
rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2018
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