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"The American Fix" by Ryan Hampton

So, to be embarrassingly honest, I did not truly understand what the big issue was with the opioid crisis until I read "American Fix". Even though I work in mental health, even though I have two bachelors (one in Psychology), even though I've served clients that are in recovery.... I have not been immune to stigma and bias that exists around addiction. This book was humbling, eye opening, and inspiring.

“Without impacting chronic pain patients, who legitimately need these medications, we can limit the distribution and production of lethal opioids that turn normal people into sick ones... We can educate doctors... We can make sure naloxone is available everywhere... We can improve drug education and prevention by telling kids the truth about drugs and addiction and empowering them to support one another instead of just saying no. We can shatter the stigma of addiction by telling the truth about substance use disorder and refusing to stay silent while our friends and loved ones die... We can stop unfairly targeting minorities for drug related crimes and stop incarcerating people whose only crime is their addiction.” - Ryan Hampton “American Fix”

Here are some reasons I recommend this book:

  • The author, Ryan Hampton shares about his personal experiences with addiction. When it comes to an issue that is stigmatized, politicized, criminalized... I love hearing about it from someone that has first hand experience.

  • It sheds light on HOW individuals become addicts. (Spoiler alert: It's not because of a character flaw.)

  • Hampton's book helped me to understand how our healthcare system is failing folks who are struggling with addiction. (That info is invaluable in helping us to make wise recommendations/referrals to other providers, as well as to knowing how we can fill in some of the gaps.)

  • This book helped me to come to my own conclusions about how to VOTE on this issue.

  • I learned about what has NOT been effective in addressing addiction/drug use (y'all remember DARE?)

  • I realized some of my own inherent biases about addiction and drug use, and was able to reverse these.

  • I walked away with a deep respect for those who are in recovery.

Did you read this book? I'd love to hear what you thought! What were some of your take-aways?

You can follow the author Ryan Hampton on Instagram @ryanjhampton.


Esther Craven, MT-BC is a board certified music therapist, and the founder and CEO of North Star Therapy. She is passionate about using music to help young adults who are struggling with their mental health so that they can level up in life, be their best selves, and live well. You can connect with her via Instagram @northstartherapy or send an email to

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