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Painkiller Addict
Painkiller Addict

Painkiller Addict

From Wreckage to Redemption - My True Story


320 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95)

Publication Date: July 2013

ISBN 9780749958060

Rights: US

Little, Brown Book Group (Jul 2013)
Piatkus Books

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A heart-rending memoir about one of the medical scandals of our time—the addiction to prescription drugs that is acquired in hospitals and doctor's offices, behind closed doorsCathryn Kemp was a successful travel journalist who was struck down by a life-threatening illness. After four years of operations and misdiagnoses she left the hospital with a repeat prescription for a painkiller 100 times stronger than heroin. Within 2 years she was taking more than 10 times the maximum: her doctor was effectively her dealer. Her family struggled to understand, her boyfriend left her, and she hit rock bottom. Discovering she had only 6 months to live if she didn't give up the pills, she sold everything she owned and checked into rehab. Here she was told that she was unlikely to recover from the highest level of opiate-abuse in the clinic's history. To everyone's amazement, she proved them wrong. This is an extraordinarily poignant, vivid, and honest memoir. Based on the 24 diaries that the author kept during this period, readers travel with Cathryn through her hospital agony, descend with her into the hell of addiction, and cheer her as she pulls herself out and upwards. This is a love story, a horror story, a survival story, a battle for dignity and freedom, and an insight into one of the medical scandals of our time: the over-prescription of strong pain relief.


"This book makes it possible to see how easy it is to fall into addiction. After the first few pages, I found this gripping tale hard to put down." —Book Pleasures (Blog)

Author Biography

Cathryn Kemp is a journalist and travel writer. She was a journalist for the Mirror, News of the World, and the Sunday Mirror for seven years before falling ill literally overnight in 2004. She has written several Lonely Planet books.