Finding Tess

A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America
By: Beth Macy
Narrated by: Beth Macy
Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On Christmas Eve, 2017, Tess Henry was found dead in a dumpster in Las Vegas. Tess was a 28-year-old new mother, a former honor roll student, and a high school basketball player from suburban Roanoke, Virginia, a place ravaged by the national opioid crisis. The New York Times best-selling author Beth Macy chronicled Tess and her mom, Patricia, through Tess' harrowing, years-long battle to recover from heroin addiction in her award-winning book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America. But just as Tess was on the brink of returning to a normal life with her young son, she was brutally murdered.

Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America is a psychosocial autopsy of sorts, not just a retracing of Tess’ final steps on the streets of Las Vegas but also a dissection of what went wrong during the six-year span of her opioid addiction as well as the changes inspired by her story. This exclusive audio documentary - a coda to Dopesick - features interviews with Tess, her family, and many of those who tried to help her along the way as well as the systems and the people who failed her. By tracing Tess’ final steps as she tried so hard to make her way back to Virginia - and to her son - Finding Tess illuminates a journey shared by too many of the 2.6 million Americans battling opioid addiction, offering lessons from a cast of unlikely heroes and, along with them, hope.

©2019 PaperGirl, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

Go Behind the Scenes of Finding Tess

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Our favorite moments from Finding Tess

An American family challenged to deal with addiction
Tess attends recovery meetings.
An expert explains the science behind addiction.
"…and that basement sometimes even had a trap door."

  • Finding Tess
  • An American family challenged to deal with addiction
  • Finding Tess
  • Tess attends recovery meetings.
  • Finding Tess
  • An expert explains the science behind addiction.
  • Finding Tess
  • "…and that basement sometimes even had a trap door."
Beth Macy

About the Creator and Performer

Beth Macy is the author of three New York Times best-selling books. A journalist who writes about outsiders and underdogs, Macy has won more than two dozen national journalism awards, including a 2013 J. Anthony Lukas award for Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town and an L.A. Times Book Prize for her recent Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. She has reported from Roanoke, Virginia, for three decades, and has published essays in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and for NBC News. Finding Tess: A Mother’s Search for Answers in a Dopesick America is her first audio documentary.

Credits

In loving memory of Theresa Helen Henry

Dedicated to Patricia Mehrmann and families across America battling addiction

Written and Narrated by Beth Macy

Executive Produced and Edited by Emily Martinez

Additional Editing by Collin Campbell

Recording Engineers: Bill Trifiro, Denise Allen-Membraño, and Steve Hobbs at VPS Studios in Roanoke, Virginia

Sound editing and assembly by Caleb Brooks, Reel Audiobooks

Mixing Engineer: Mark Galup, Reel Audiobooks

Sound Design, Mixing and Mastering by Steve Frend & Peter Mack, Outloud Audio

Fact-checked by Roni Greenwood

Special thanks to Tyler Cabot, Keith O’Connell, Kirk Schroder, Dorian Karchmar, Lora Stradley & Donna Hefner

"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in)". Copyright 1952, ©1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust,
from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage.
Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

A tough story to listen to but well worth the tim

I have read the authors book Dopesick and found it well written and informative. This audio book delving into the demise of Tess Henry is hard to listen to without feeling the deep sadness and loss for everyone involved. Addiction is a horrible disease for everyone it touches and this story is one we should all hear.

Thanks to the author and Pat for sharing their experience.

7 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking and informative

First I’ll say, I would recommend reading “Dopesick” by the author before diving into this audiobook.

Once I finished Dopesick I found myself compelled by the story of Tess Henry’s addiction, the circumstances leading to her death, and the impact it had on the people around her. This audiobook really expands upon that entire ordeal and gives and even more in depth view into the toll it took on the family. And the added benefit of this being an audiobook is you get to hear interviews from family members and you can really get a gauge of their emotions first hand instead of just imagining it through print.

This book also does an amazing job illustrating the not so glamorous drug, crime, and homeless situation in Las Vegas. As someone who frequents the area 2-3 times a year I never realized how crazy things really are out there and this audiobook painted a much different picture of Las Vegas than I ever could have imagined.

Much like Dopesick this was another great work from Beth Macy. I will be reading more of her books soon.

4 people found this helpful

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Raw, honest, compelling - a masterpiece.

In "Finding Tess," Beth dives headlong into the teeth of opioid addiction in America.

She looks with compassion at those in the trenches battling one of the worst drug crises America has ever seen and breathes new life to all those on the fringes of society - those so often overlooked and discarded.

Beth's book challenges us to do better, to BE better. She reminds us that underneath the heroine and the pills are REAL people in need of real solutions.

Her storyline is gripping. Her interviews, raw and heartbreaking.

Above all else, we are reminded as we are immersed in this journey that every person struggling with an addiction is someone's mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, or son.

This isn't just Tess's story. It belongs to us all. How will we write the ending?


4 people found this helpful

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Gone Girl

Eyeopener on the dark descent of drug addiction to opioids. It chronicles the final years of a Roanoke lady in the throes of dopesickness and her heartbreaking and harrowing struggle to free herself from its grip. Every parent should listen to this. Well worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreaking

Beth Macy again shows us the evil and the good and reminds us that the villains—drug companies, illegal pushers, and pimps—are raking in the money while their victims are in jails, on the streets, or in the morgue. But she also gives us hope. She’s a brave person, as most good reporters are.

1 person found this helpful

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Heart-Wrenching and Important

This is a sad story of just how devastating the opioid crisis is. It also goes into depth about how the medical community usually fails these addicted people. This is eye opening and an important topic to know about in current events.

1 person found this helpful

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Informative and Heattbreaking

I fell in love with Tess and her journey. Her story resonates as my own mother struggled with addiction before ultimately passing from the disorder

1 person found this helpful

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I never wanted this book to end

I was so moved by this story. The level of reporting is top notch and the production value is excellent. It had the pacing of a true crime podcast but you really feel for the family of this woman. 10/10

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling from prologue to ending

I am sucked by what I have learned reading this excellent book. The narrator was empathetic to the subject and the subject was something I was unfamiliar with and M shocked to hear this could exist in America. I highly recommend this book for a knowledge and I have re read it once already.

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More than a story, it's a lesson.

For those of us with loved ones suffering from opioid addiction this is a must read. This book teaches a valuable lesson.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LBlanco
  • 10-05-19

Heartbreaking Reality.

I can't believe there are people prostituting themselves to get medication against opioid addiction. It is unfortunate that health insurances or the goverment do not help them in the United States. They have been abandoned to their fate and only those who have a lot of money can pay the expensive treatments in a facility and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives. This is not fair for them and their families. Waiting lists for rehab are killing people.

This story is the story of many people struggling with addiction. All they need is support and love. It is not easy to overcome addiction and avoid relapsing but it will never happens if no one help them. Withdraw symptoms are awful and mentally destructive. Do not let the brain think clearly or make rational choices. Addiction is a chronic brain disease and it should be treated like other mental health illness.

Please we need to avoid stigma. The mayority of them, around a 75%, are addicted to opioids because of the use of prescription painkillers recomended by their doctors. No one choses to be an addict and being homeless. No one wants to die of an overdose alone in the streets. We all make mistakes in life and we all deserve a second chance.

Thank you very much to Tess family for sharing their story in this book. I hope it will help to raise awareness worldwide. You are very brave. Tess was very brave. No one deserve to die the way she did. I am very sorry for your loss and every loss that is happening DAILY. More than 170 people die everyday due addiction related causes in the United States. This is clearly an epidemic. It is killing an entire generation of loved young people and destroying families, mentally and financially. This should not be happening.