All Fall Down, by Jennifer Weiner, is an intriguing story of a woman’s struggle to stay afloat while the seductive lure of opiate bliss and oblivion, enticed and entrapped her.
Allison Weiss was a middle age career woman living in a wealthy suburban community, with her husband and daughter when she sustained a back injury at the gym. Becoming a drug addict was the furthest thing on Allison’s mind that day. Her slip into the drug world occurred after she received a prescription for pain medication and found that it did so much more than just ease the pain in her back. Percocet was not only an analgesic to Allison; it became her miracle drug, her lifesaver and her ultimate enemy.
Allison continued to seek out her miracle drug long after her back injury had healed. She discovered that when she took the drug, not only did the sting from her husband’s absence in her bed lessen, but she had more patience with her challenging and high-strung daughter. To Allison, this narcotic drug was a soothing balm for her emotional pain and frayed nerves. She even found that it helped in her writing career, words and ideas flowed effortlessly from her mind to the keyboard for her blog. And once Alison had tasted the sweet euphoric bliss of opiate oblivion, she chased it with gumption on a daily basis.
The problem with addiction is that it never stays the same; once the body develops a tolerance, it takes more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect. And like many drug addicts, Allison soon found herself crossing the line into criminal and illegal activity to obtain her fix.
Allison Weiss didn’t see herself as a true addict because her fix didn’t come from street drugs but from prescriptions. The fact that she had to cycle through several doctors to get them, and then order online when her physician sources failed, was irrelevant. But when Allison ended up in an AA meeting sitting between a homeless person and a lawyer, she realized that addiction was no respecter of persons and that it was indeed an equal opportunity destroyer.
Jennifer Weiner in All Fall Down did an excellent and accurate job in describing a person’s descent into addiction. She also made this thought-provoking book a delightful read by adding humor and witty dialogue to it. The only part of the book that I found a bit unrealistic was the rehab piece, but it didn’t take away from the story itself. I highly recommend giving this book a read.
~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover