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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Pill Head’ paints ugly truth

    Pill Head paints ugly truth

    Joshua Lyon has got to be among the most frank journalists in the world. In his new book, “”Pill Head,”” Lyon gives an honest first-person account of what it’s like to be addicted to prescription drugs, and it hits hard in a way Valium and Xanax never would.

    A journalist who has written for publications like Interview and V Life, Lyon had a lot to lose when he was given an assignment to explore exactly how people receive those offers for “”easy”” prescription drugs that so many people are familiar with from the spam folders within email accounts. After Lyon decided to take the pills he received instead of ditching them, his life spiraled downward in a fashion that would scare even the most hardened soul.

    The most compelling aspect of Lyon’s book isn’t the stories from his time on drugs or his almost-encyclopedic knowledge of the medical risks and rewards of each pill. Those things have been covered before in many other books. What makes “”Pill Head”” stand out is the remarkable way Lyon portrays the loss of his former life, his intelligence and his soul while on drugs. With a cold, clinical voice, he shows the reader exactly how an addiction will wreck anything that one ever thought one cared about in life (and things one never knew they did).

    From his run-ins with the HIV virus, to his indulgences in “”harder”” drugs, to the manner in which he loses many aspects of his humanity, Lyon paints a stark picture of exactly how much any drug user has to lose. And unlikely though it is, the portrayal of this is what pushes “”Pill Head”” above the rest of the pack.

    Final Grade: B

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