CHASING THE DRAGON: How to Win the War on Drugs

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Chasing the Dragon is a gripping and insightful look into the world of the American war on drugs as can only be told through the life and experiences of author Dan Addario. Mr. Addario spent 35 years in law enforcement, first as a young police recruit, going undercover even before graduating the police academy and ending as the chief of detectives for the San Francisco district attorney’s office.

From his early days as an undercover detective in Philadelphia to his years as a senior member of the Drug Enforcement agency, Addario offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on the growth of the American drug trade into its current monstrous form, as well as the heroic efforts of law enforcement at all levels to slay this particular beast. Highlighting the piece are the stories Addario brings to us from the front lines of this conflict, sometimes harrowing, other times hilarious, featuring run-ins with the likes of Ray Charles and Bobby Kennedy during his colorful career.

Throughout the work, however, is Addario’s constant reminder that the so-called “war on drugs” is still dragging onward, with no clear end in sight. The memoir identifies multiple reasons as to why this is so, including in-fighting among government agencies, uninformed politicians promoting solutions that poll well with the populace but do not have much practical effect on the problem, and the unaccountability of pharma companies that sell the drugs. Addario does not mince words as he describes this epidemic that touches every level of society. Indeed, personal tragedy within his own family guides much of Mr. Addario’s passion and desire for change, which gives the work a whole other dimension; not only does Addario bring his own drug enforcement experience to bear on the issue but also his experience as someone who has lost a son to drugs.

Interestingly, near the end of the memoir, readers will notice familiar names, such as Bob Mueller, the special investigator appointed by Rod Rosenstein; Kamala Harris, a current contender for the Democratic presidential nomination; and Joe Biden. The mention of these individuals who appear in the daily news drives home the point that this crisis is still ongoing and is happening in the present, not just past, tense.

Mr. Addario offers his own solution to the problem at the end of the work. His solution has been formed by years of hands-on experience and knowledge as well as the need to see reform. It is my hope that after reading this unapologetically harsh critique of the way the drug crises have been handled, readers will no longer stand by and allow the epidemic to continue.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Post Hill Press
Publish Date 2019-02-26
ISBN 978164293086 Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Biographies & Memoirs


  1. Donna Durkin

    Fabulous read. I couldn’t put it down. Mr. Addario really captures what really happens with our government making the same mistakes from one administration to another. Meanwhile people are continuing to die.

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