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Publisher's Summary

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 just now becoming aware of: Opioids prescribed for even minor pain relief are so addictive that even a few days of use can create dependency. On Pills and Needles is a memoir that also serves as a wake-up call and crash course in opioid addiction. Through his harrowing personal story, Van Warner exposes the common causes of opioid addiction, effective and ineffective ways it has been treated, and how families can walk alongside loved ones who are dealing with the daily realities of addiction.

©2018 Rick Van Warner (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about On Pills and Needles

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Should be mandatory reading for parents and families

Tough topic and a story that no one wants to know firsthand. I so deeply appreciate Rick Van Warner for writing this. Thus story goes beyond that of an addict to one of a father’s own self discovery. Rick didn’t cause his son’s addiction but that he was willing to look at his own contributions to the situation and reflect on his past, his words, and his actions and present them with honestly and humility are what truly make this book unique and important. This is more than the journey of an addict; it’s the journey of a family caught in a global drug crisis.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrators Make a HUGE Difference

I’m not sure how narrators are chosen but I have to say that in my opinion it is the main factor in determining whether or not I listen to the book or not or IF I can listen to it. I’m new at this and have at least half of my selections ‘started’ and know there is no way I can listen to the narrator for 7 or more hours. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible Story

I’m a father of a 21 yr old son who’s story is almost identical to Tommy. The emotional trauma you and your family have gone through is both heartbreaking and inspirational. I pray for Tommy’s continued sobriety.

Paul

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What is more dramatic the codependency and enabling of the father or the son’s addiction?

It’s difficult to decide who is worse the father who thinks he can make his son’s decisions for him or the son who disregards his father’s efforts. Maybe the son is begging to live his own life and bare the full consequences of his own choices and actions. These two are certainly not done yet. This story, of two people trying to figure out their own problems is just beginning. I feel compassion for both of them.

1 person found this helpful

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More than a glimpse inside addiction

From the layout all the way to the way it was narrated I give it all thumbs up! This was more than a glimpse into ones addiction,it was a raw and outright transparent look inside of the effects of addiction for the addict and those who love them. I was captivated and felt it personally as the writer took me through their journey of finding ways to save their son! I felt the care and genuine love he had for Tommy and even got emotionally taken into this journey. I now have a clearer view and aspect on addiction as a whole and I recognize we are still in the middle of an opioid crisis that has to be fought with diligence and endure the battle.
Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of yours and you son's life. God bless you all!

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Great story..........

A little dragged out, but definitely good. The narrators voice was a little drab, but you get used to it.

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Vulnerable story

I really am saddened by the stories in this book though I understand the realness is something many families go through. I have never personally been through our witnesses such a repetitive, anxious, vulnerable tale, yet I thank Rick for sharing. The story was repetitive and I have learned that is what the relentless the author was attempting to explain. All the patience in the world I send to the parents fighting the fight Rick explained.

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Good Honest and interesting

Didn’t love the narrator. He just seemed flat. But a good overall and honest story.We also have four kids and I could relate to feeling torn at times between all their various activities and the middle child often getting smushed...The father was quite amazing though. You can do everything in the world and never know how it will turn out.

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Drugs effect the whole family

heartbreaking, and a very powerful listen to.
if you have teenagers you might want to listen to this.

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Crazy but true

The story is as much about the story of one child and a father as it is about the unscrupolous companies on both ends of the legal drug trade. The companies who sell the drugs and the people who profit on the rehab side. If I were to criticise anything about the book it does jump around without any chronological order to the story.