In 2018, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about HIV and hepatitis without touching on the U.S. opioid crisis.

Over the past two decades, authors, journalists and doctors have published countless books and articles outlining what’s been driving addiction, overdoses, questionable prescribing practices and the sale of dangerous illegal narcotics across the country—so much so that it can be hard to choose what to read when first researching the epidemic.

Fortunately, for readers interested in a deep dive into the facts and figures regarding the opioid epidemic in the United States, the New York Times Book Review recently published a column featuring a list of must-reads about the topic by infectious disease specialist Abigail Zuger, MD.

The column, the first in a new series titled “Prescribed Reading,” focuses on all the different facets of addiction that have made the epidemic what it is today: clueless doctors, misleading pharmaceutical companies, people fighting addiction in their own communities and more.

Below is Dr. Zuger’s “Rx Pad” for opioid-related books  in 2018: 

Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop, by Dr. Anna Lembke

The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, by Dr. Marcia Angell

Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Misled Doctors and Harm Patients, by Dr. Ben Goldacre

The Billion Dollar Molecule: The Quest for the Perfect Drug, by Barry Werth

The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma, by Barry Werth

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, by Thomas De Quincey

Click here to read the full review and inspire some last-minute advocacy/education gift recommendations. Then click here for our annual roundup of Gifts that Give Back.