Heartbroken

Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis

Non-Fiction - Grief/Hardship
276 Pages
Reviewed on 12/10/2019
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Author Biography

A little about me, dear readers:
Yep, I'm a believer - when life gives me lemons, I believe I can make lemonade. And I believe in the power of positive energy, in being kind to each other, in learning every day, and in the color yellow.
I learned as I wrote my first book, We Lost Her, that I loved bringing a story of hope to you. So, I decided to try again. To write another that could, maybe, make a difference in this world, help me and you, dear reader, to learn and to bring kindness to each other.
Heartbroken - Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis is not about my personal journey, but it is personal to me now. And to so many families in our country. The opioid crisis has taken so many lives - it must stop. Those that have lost loved ones to addiction often feel stigma even in their grief. That must stop, too.
Heartbroken helped me to learn so much and I hope it will help you, too.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Judith Rook for Readers' Favorite

Heartbroken: Grief and Hope inside the Opioid Crisis is written by Ellen Krohne, Diana Cuddeback and Matthew Ellis—three highly experienced and articulate US health and social professionals whose intention is to “… inform the reader as a starting place for healing.” The main core of the text is the accounts of the effects of seven overdose deaths through addictions, which began with the use of opioid drugs. However, the informed insights and understanding built around the harrowing stories take the book far beyond the condition of simple anecdotes and make it fundamentally relevant to any concerned individual or to society as a whole.

The book offers knowledge about the history of the use and abuse of opioids in the US and deals with two main concepts—the stigma associated with suicide and the ‘unrespected’ grief suffered by family members. The text steers away from the tradition of blame and punishment. Even the concept of personal choice as the basis for drug addiction is expertly presented as the tragic circumstance it is.

Heartbroken: Grief and Hope inside the Opioid Crisis is not a book to be read lightly, but it should be read, even by people who have not had direct experience of drug addiction and the overdose death of a loved person. It illuminates one of the greatest negative factors within contemporary Western society and presents some unpalatable facts, but at the same time, it reveals the beginning of a path which our society can follow, which ultimately may lead out of the opioid crisis.

K.C. Finn

Heartbroken: Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis is a work of non-fiction in the medical genre, written for adults and penned by author Ellen Krohne. The book is a personal and emotional account of the realities of living with opioid addiction from the perspective of seven parents who have lost a child to addiction. Through interviews with the affected families, the author discusses the subjects of addiction, grief, hope, and prevention with a view to sharing the painful experiences with other families affected by the issues. The volume covers issues such as how the crisis came about, right through to hope for the future and prevention advice.

Author Ellen Krohne has the assistance of Matthew Ellis MPE and Diana Cuddeback LCSW to create this informative guide which not only gives solid advice and self help, but also creates a highly atmospheric method of narrating the real emotional impact which the opioid crisis is having on families in this day and age, a fact which many people may know nothing about. Collating stories from families who were informed of their loved one’s addictions as well as those who were blindsided and had no idea, the work is shocking, provocative and absolutely necessary in today’s climate. Krohne’s organization of the work makes the handling of tough topics more accessible for readers too, as the progression towards hope and work that can be done in the future gives a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Overall, Heartbroken: Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis is an essential book for those who need to learn more about this growing modern concern.

Rabia Tanveer

Heartbroken: Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis by Ellen Krohne with Mathew Ellis and Diana Cuddeback is a book about opioid crises and how it can destroy lives. The book opens with a brief history of opioid use and how the epidemic originated. From there we see what really happens when people get addicted and how their lives are destroyed. Seven parents share their stories as to how the opioid addiction not only destroyed their lives but how it seemed to suck the life out of their child one day at a time. Their stories are harrowing and incredibly emotional, but also have the message of hope and looking for better days. While some parents were aware that their children took drugs, some were hit hard with what happened. Deeply personal and emotional, these stories are powerful enough to rattle anyone. The author also shares techniques that one can use to help and support someone who has lost a loved one to addiction. She also talks about prevention and how just a little bit of hope is enough to help someone out of the crisis.

This book is informative and is definitely an eye-opener, one that will make you realize the bitter reality of life. There is a stigma attached to opioid use and addiction, which is talked about in this book. The author carefully maintains a positive tone; she gives the reader hope for a better future. The techniques mentioned to help a grieving family are practical. What made me really get into the book and understand its depth were the stories of the parents. What they went through is horrible and the author did justice to these stories. I cannot imagine how these parents lived through these terrible times, but I hope they got their closure. This book can help many parents avoid such circumstances. I recommend sharing these books with teenagers so that they understand the bitter realities of drug addiction and know why they must avoid the temptation.