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As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction

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In the vein of Mary Karr’s Lit, Augusten Burroughs’ Dry and Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting—and often wryly funny—addiction memoir from one of New York media’s most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career. Dan Peres wasn’t born to be a media ins In the vein of Mary Karr’s Lit, Augusten Burroughs’ Dry and Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting—and often wryly funny—addiction memoir from one of New York media’s most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career. Dan Peres wasn’t born to be a media insider. As an awkward, magic-obsessed adolescent, nothing was further from his reality than the catwalks of Paris or the hallways of glossy magazine publishers. A gifted writer and shrewd cultural observer, Peres eventually took the leap—even when it meant he had to fake a sense of belonging in a new world of famed fashion designers, celebrities, and some of media’s biggest names. But he had a secret: opiates.Peres’s career as an editor at W magazine and Details is well known, but little is known about his private life as a high-functioning drug addict. In As Needed for Pain, Peres lays bare for the first time the extent of his drug use—at one point a 60-pill-a-day habit.By turns humorous and gripping, Peres’s story is a cautionary coming-of-age tale filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking brushes with disaster. But the heart of the book is his journey from outsider to insecure insider, what it took to get him there, and how he found his way back from a killing addiction. As Needed for Pain offers a rare glimpse into New York media’s past—a time when print magazines mattered—and a rarefied world of wealth, power, and influence. It is also a brilliant, shocking dissection of a life teetering on the edge of destruction, and what it took to pull back from the brink.


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In the vein of Mary Karr’s Lit, Augusten Burroughs’ Dry and Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting—and often wryly funny—addiction memoir from one of New York media’s most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career. Dan Peres wasn’t born to be a media ins In the vein of Mary Karr’s Lit, Augusten Burroughs’ Dry and Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting—and often wryly funny—addiction memoir from one of New York media’s most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career. Dan Peres wasn’t born to be a media insider. As an awkward, magic-obsessed adolescent, nothing was further from his reality than the catwalks of Paris or the hallways of glossy magazine publishers. A gifted writer and shrewd cultural observer, Peres eventually took the leap—even when it meant he had to fake a sense of belonging in a new world of famed fashion designers, celebrities, and some of media’s biggest names. But he had a secret: opiates.Peres’s career as an editor at W magazine and Details is well known, but little is known about his private life as a high-functioning drug addict. In As Needed for Pain, Peres lays bare for the first time the extent of his drug use—at one point a 60-pill-a-day habit.By turns humorous and gripping, Peres’s story is a cautionary coming-of-age tale filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking brushes with disaster. But the heart of the book is his journey from outsider to insecure insider, what it took to get him there, and how he found his way back from a killing addiction. As Needed for Pain offers a rare glimpse into New York media’s past—a time when print magazines mattered—and a rarefied world of wealth, power, and influence. It is also a brilliant, shocking dissection of a life teetering on the edge of destruction, and what it took to pull back from the brink.

30 review for As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This was a good memoir about addiction, but it is not a particularly deep one. It's also just amazing how much crime a white addict can get away with without getting caught. This was a good memoir about addiction, but it is not a particularly deep one. It's also just amazing how much crime a white addict can get away with without getting caught.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Tomkiw

    Typically, memoirs are rife with lessons, both implied and explicit...lessons for the author and lessons for the reader. Here, however, the only takeaway is that there's a ton of excess in the the 80s-90s-00s, publishing ranks. The author outlines years of not-showing-up, leaning on subordinates to do the heavy lifting of producing a monthly magazine and generally screwing up every relationship. So Conde Nast had limos waiting to take the drug-addled home. So expense reports covered trips to Mex Typically, memoirs are rife with lessons, both implied and explicit...lessons for the author and lessons for the reader. Here, however, the only takeaway is that there's a ton of excess in the the 80s-90s-00s, publishing ranks. The author outlines years of not-showing-up, leaning on subordinates to do the heavy lifting of producing a monthly magazine and generally screwing up every relationship. So Conde Nast had limos waiting to take the drug-addled home. So expense reports covered trips to Mexico for bags of pills. So people looked the other way when the author, the chief honcho at Details, nodded off in meetings, or overdosed on the couch in his office. The book covers the waterfront of addiction, but comes up short on the motivating factors for getting clean, relegating his epiphany to a rushed ending. In sum, the book is short on juicy details (pun intended) from the publishing world, and short on insights into addiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Baggerman

    It was a little weird how this book was told in vignettes instead of a straight narrative, which kind of left me hanging in certain parts. (What happened after he got the pink gown?!?)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Stetz

    Weird relationship with David Copperfield.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Olson

    Pretty good book, but the author focused a lot on...ahem...women and their anatomy and it was distracting at times. He also introduced certain plot points that never resolved that I was curious about. Still it was pretty well written and insightful

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the early review copy. From the moment I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Peres was the editor of Details magazine, and he kept company with many celebrities. There are fascinating stories here, particularly of Peres's hero, David Copperfield. But Peres had a secret - he'd become addicted to opioid pills following a back injury. Peres's journey is a smoothly-written heartbreak - you're rooting for him from page one. This is an importan Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the early review copy. From the moment I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Peres was the editor of Details magazine, and he kept company with many celebrities. There are fascinating stories here, particularly of Peres's hero, David Copperfield. But Peres had a secret - he'd become addicted to opioid pills following a back injury. Peres's journey is a smoothly-written heartbreak - you're rooting for him from page one. This is an important book, especially for those who believe that addiction isn't a disease. This is a true story, an addiction borne from prescriptions, a real-life nightmare that is all too familiar for many people in this day and age. Dan Peres's story filled me with a deep sense of empathy for the author and a sincere wish that he would make it out from the abyss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debi

    Must Read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Interesting topic/situation, straight forward writing made for easy reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marika

    Author Dan Peres was Editor-in-Chief of Details for fifteen years. He hung out with celebrities, rock stars, and generally the in-crowd. What looked glittery on the outside hid an ugly truth. Dan was addicted to opiates. And by addicted I mean 30 pills per day just to function. Not to get high. Peres is a gifted author who is able to write about the psychological and physical aspects of addiction. Riveting memoir about personal journey that is teachable for those who are willing. * I read an adv Author Dan Peres was Editor-in-Chief of Details for fifteen years. He hung out with celebrities, rock stars, and generally the in-crowd. What looked glittery on the outside hid an ugly truth. Dan was addicted to opiates. And by addicted I mean 30 pills per day just to function. Not to get high. Peres is a gifted author who is able to write about the psychological and physical aspects of addiction. Riveting memoir about personal journey that is teachable for those who are willing. * I read an advance copy and was not compensated

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McCormick

    When I was a wee lass in college, I used to read and love Details magazine (this was in the mid-late 90s) . It was completely awesome, and seemed to be written for both men and women, thinking particularly of Anka Radakovich's sex column which was a pretty cool template of sex positive feminism and assertiveness in my dawning young awareness of the relations between men & women. Generally a bible of NYC-centric cosmopolitan cool that I liked to fantasize about one day embodying. So when I heard When I was a wee lass in college, I used to read and love Details magazine (this was in the mid-late 90s) . It was completely awesome, and seemed to be written for both men and women, thinking particularly of Anka Radakovich's sex column which was a pretty cool template of sex positive feminism and assertiveness in my dawning young awareness of the relations between men & women. Generally a bible of NYC-centric cosmopolitan cool that I liked to fantasize about one day embodying. So when I heard this memoir was coming out of an early Details editor, I snapped it up, only later to learn that Dan Peres is actually the guy who took over...after all the cool writers and editors were scrapped and the magazine became super douchey and generic. There's actually a part of this book where Peres says something along the lines of "we wanted to make a magazine for men who wanted something more hard hitting that babes on the cover" completely forgetting about Esquire and GQ, and for that matter, some of Playboy's fine journalistic endeavors. Ok dude. So...reading this as an addiction memoir, I also had mixed feelings about this book. I found myself thinking about how in order to be interested in a memoir you have to be on board with both the general hook (in this case, that's the hot topic of opioid painkiller addition, a ground less trodden in the genre thus far), and the person telling the story. In regards to the later aspect, "the person telling the story" is not up to par with many others in this world. I'm comparing this mostly to Permanent Midnight which is a fave of mine. I constantly got the feeling Peres was holding back at portraying himself as a total scumbag in an effort to seem "likable" or "human" and what that ultimately does is water down the drama and transformation of the story. Jerry Stahl has no such compunction so his narrative packs a real punch. So as a tale this one's a little bit meh. There were parts that I liked but overall not a standout.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angie Price

    This book is about a man from Baltimore, MD who suffers a back injury and becomes hooked on his pain medication that was prescribed by his doctor before the opioid crisis occurred. It’s a unique story of how someone can succumb to an opioid addiction especially since he has a career that exposes him to rich and famous people that help him curb his addiction when medical providers begin to back off. It’s a story that talks about pain and opioid addiction, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to an au This book is about a man from Baltimore, MD who suffers a back injury and becomes hooked on his pain medication that was prescribed by his doctor before the opioid crisis occurred. It’s a unique story of how someone can succumb to an opioid addiction especially since he has a career that exposes him to rich and famous people that help him curb his addiction when medical providers begin to back off. It’s a story that talks about pain and opioid addiction, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to an audience of the average, everyday person who struggles with pain and needs opioids for pain management then they become addicted. Not everyone can drop thousands of dollars because they found a pharmacist in a dark alley that can get 1000 Percosets in one bottle. It is a good story, but not for the every day person who may be in the same shoes as Dan Peres minus the luscious career and knowing famous people.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Details magazine was my fashion bible. It was so great. so so so so so so so great. It was witty, and stylish, and had great stories on celebrities, and sex, and celebrity sex. It was my everything. When Dan Peres took over, he made Details better, as before he got there it was falling into the Maxim trap, which was cover women in barely there bathing suits, fancy cars, just very boring and same ole' same ole'. In reading his memoir, I had a little walk thr Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Details magazine was my fashion bible. It was so great. so so so so so so so great. It was witty, and stylish, and had great stories on celebrities, and sex, and celebrity sex. It was my everything. When Dan Peres took over, he made Details better, as before he got there it was falling into the Maxim trap, which was cover women in barely there bathing suits, fancy cars, just very boring and same ole' same ole'. In reading his memoir, I had a little walk through memory lane of my early 20s matched up with his stories of the same time period. It was fascinating what was going on behind the scenes. Here's to Dan Peres, who made a magazine that I absolutely loved.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie Zigoris

    I appreciated the snappy writing and amusing anecdotes in this book, but overall the story felt very superficial to me. It seemed more about name-dropping and fancy parties than a serious exploration of drug addiction and what it takes to overcome it. I was also troubled by how the author (and his friends) objectified women. The author acknowledges how he likes to take shortcuts instead of working hard—he doesn't try to learn French when he moves to France, he clocks in four-hour days at work ye I appreciated the snappy writing and amusing anecdotes in this book, but overall the story felt very superficial to me. It seemed more about name-dropping and fancy parties than a serious exploration of drug addiction and what it takes to overcome it. I was also troubled by how the author (and his friends) objectified women. The author acknowledges how he likes to take shortcuts instead of working hard—he doesn't try to learn French when he moves to France, he clocks in four-hour days at work yet somehow manages to keep his job and all its privileges. His coming clean is no different. It seems more like an accident (he got caught) instead of an opportunity to interrogate himself and his values.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jill Van Denburg

    Brilliantly written, honest, and humorous at many times. This is the story of a publishing icon who reveals his dirty, little secret. I finished this book in one sitting and could not be prouder that I once worked with this incredibly self-knowing and equally self-deprecating EIC. Personally, I think that business drives us all to the brink. I’m so proud to know Dan Peres and to have read his story. I think Condé Nast owes all of us therapy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Bauer

    I dare you to put this book down. Honestly, I have not read a book like this in years. Every page made me want to underline and re-read because his words are profound, hilarious and memorable. I can promise you that you will want to curl up and not move until you finish. Thank you Dan Peres for helping me to love reading again. After I read Augusten Burrough's writings I thought I was done. Now I know that there is life after "This Is How." I dare you to put this book down. Honestly, I have not read a book like this in years. Every page made me want to underline and re-read because his words are profound, hilarious and memorable. I can promise you that you will want to curl up and not move until you finish. Thank you Dan Peres for helping me to love reading again. After I read Augusten Burrough's writings I thought I was done. Now I know that there is life after "This Is How."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Well, it's a fast read, broken up into two sittings. Didn't learn very much (about the publishing world OR the life of addiction) and I can't say my ability to empathize was stretched in any way. The story I'd like to read is a memoir by his assistant or his coworkers who had to deal with a barely functional manager. You'd think someone who could get promoted and keep his job for so long despite being opiate high must have some innate charm, but it doesn't really come through in his writing. Well, it's a fast read, broken up into two sittings. Didn't learn very much (about the publishing world OR the life of addiction) and I can't say my ability to empathize was stretched in any way. The story I'd like to read is a memoir by his assistant or his coworkers who had to deal with a barely functional manager. You'd think someone who could get promoted and keep his job for so long despite being opiate high must have some innate charm, but it doesn't really come through in his writing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Stetz

    Real good, easy read. Guy was popping 60 Vicodins per day before he started doing high amounts Roxicodone, which I’ve never heard of. Almost did heroin, walking skid row in LA looking to score before he got to scared and bailed. All of that and I’m pretty sure David Copperfield wanted good bang him.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Babs Hanson

    Riveting Every page compels you to read more. I read it in less than 24 hours. The author is a natural in expressing his deepest feelings, from cold despair to the early stirrings of hope in the soul. I read memoirs all the time. This is the best one I've come across in quite a while. Riveting Every page compels you to read more. I read it in less than 24 hours. The author is a natural in expressing his deepest feelings, from cold despair to the early stirrings of hope in the soul. I read memoirs all the time. This is the best one I've come across in quite a while.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was good depiction of how one falls down the rabbit hole of pill addiction. It feels very dated due to the clamp down on opiod pills. Dan couldn't do what he did 10 years ago, thankfully. However, I kept thinking he was going to get to the hard work of recovery but he saved that for the very end. Maybe he's saving that for another book. This was well written and moved a good pace. This was good depiction of how one falls down the rabbit hole of pill addiction. It feels very dated due to the clamp down on opiod pills. Dan couldn't do what he did 10 years ago, thankfully. However, I kept thinking he was going to get to the hard work of recovery but he saved that for the very end. Maybe he's saving that for another book. This was well written and moved a good pace.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hazel Bonilla

    Amazimg I am in active recovery, and have been for 22 years. I know every feeling, every thought, and every painful truth an addict experiences. It is difficult to open up and become vulnerable and raw, but it works to keep us humble. I loved the honesty shared from Mr. Peres' life#. I wish him well and hope he continues the road to the journey of life without using.... Amazimg I am in active recovery, and have been for 22 years. I know every feeling, every thought, and every painful truth an addict experiences. It is difficult to open up and become vulnerable and raw, but it works to keep us humble. I loved the honesty shared from Mr. Peres' life#. I wish him well and hope he continues the road to the journey of life without using....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alden

    Entertaining memories from a man who thinks he’s more fascinating than he isn’t. Like every English teacher asks their students in HS, I ask of Peres’ writing, “what’s the point?”. Courageous to bear your past struggles but the book fails to connect personal experiences to the more pressing realities facing addicts and those who love them, across this nation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Silver

    I don’t like amusement park rides but this is one roller coaster ride I’m glad I took. The ups and downs, highs and lows, laughs and cries grabbed me from the 1st page. This should be required reading for every doctor with a prescription pad

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Abrams

    This book was relatable and beautifully written. Reads fast, like a great magazine editor wrote it :) it’s quick, pertinent, and timely in the age of opioid addiction. I wish he went further into the story of recovery.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allison Glasgow

    I am a sucker for any type of addiction memoir because I, myself, am an addict in recovery. I was not addicted to pills (alcohol only), but I can understand the addicted brain and the crazy things we can do to feed our addictions. Dan Peres's memoir really highlights these crazy antics. Its such a raw and honest look at the inside of an addicts mind. To some, almost unbelievable, but this is real life! Not only is it brave but its necessary for more people in recovery to share their stories so t I am a sucker for any type of addiction memoir because I, myself, am an addict in recovery. I was not addicted to pills (alcohol only), but I can understand the addicted brain and the crazy things we can do to feed our addictions. Dan Peres's memoir really highlights these crazy antics. Its such a raw and honest look at the inside of an addicts mind. To some, almost unbelievable, but this is real life! Not only is it brave but its necessary for more people in recovery to share their stories so that other know they are not alone. Its also important so that the ones who are not addicts can have a sense of understanding and empathy. Any time I had to put this book down, I found myself always thinking "I need to get back to it, I need to see what happens next in Dan's world". It definitely pulled me in and was a quick read. I only wish it did highlight a little more about the recovery aspect of addiction. solid 4 stars!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Eh. Overall very surface level. I feel like memoirs either want to share life lessons or shock you with their stories and this did neither for me. Maybe the press tour was too good, but I feel like I didnt learn any more about Dan or his struggles.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I breezed through this book quite easily so kudos for that. But it did get difficult to push through at times because I grew to really hate and resent this guy. There seemed to be almost no accountability throughout his life. Was allowed to fail upwards and stayed there, reaping the privileges for a very long time. But with his brutal honesty throughout the book, maybe being a deeply unlikable character was the point.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Who in the world green lit this junk? I abandoned it at the 85% mark. A whole chapter on feeling-up girls at bar mitzvahs? Looks like one dude bro gave another dude bro a dude bro book deal. No thanks.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beth-ellen

    The book was a fast and honest read, but I expected a bit more since the author was a writer/editor. The book literally hurtled towards the finish -- with 99% about the author's addiction and barely 1% about his recovery -- nothing about his life after he got clean. Worthwhile, though. The book was a fast and honest read, but I expected a bit more since the author was a writer/editor. The book literally hurtled towards the finish -- with 99% about the author's addiction and barely 1% about his recovery -- nothing about his life after he got clean. Worthwhile, though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Sopher

    Well written...great read ...interesting topic

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Truchan

    Well done memoir of addiction. Great read.

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