There are some people I’d like you to meet.

They’re addicts–addicts still using, addicts floundering in early recovery, or addicts coping with life after years clean. But Poppytown isn’t just about them, oh no. It’s also about their partners, their children, the doctors who try to help, the doctors who feed patients’ addictions, the counselors who struggle against heavy odds, the paramedics who cart the latest overdose to the ER–all whose lives are touched, twisted, and shadowed by addiction.

Poppytown (its title, of course, inspired by the opioid epidemic in particular) humanizes addiction without romanticizing it. It’s mostly in the form of poetry, with some prose introductions and transitions. Each piece is from the point of view of a different character, opening a window into one aspect of addiction and recovery.

Poppytown is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It will probably be self-published. I hope, down the road, to set up a nonprofit project that sends free copies to doctors, rehabs, schools, mental health facilities, and anywhere that people might benefit (whether by learning something new, or just by feeling seen).