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Summary

While his wife and two-year-old daughter watched TV in the living room, David Poses was in the kitchen, measuring the distance from his index finger to his armpit. He needed to be sure he could pull the trigger with a shotgun barrel in his mouth. Twenty-six inches. Thirty-two years old. More than a decade in a double life fueled by depression and heroin.

In his groundbreaking memoir, The Weight of Air, David chronicles his struggle to overcome mental illness and addiction. By age 19, he'd been through medical detox, inpatient rehab, 12-step programs, and a halfway house. He saw his drug use as a symptom of depression, but the experts insisted that addiction was the problem. Over the next 13 years, he went from one relapse to the next, drowning in guilt, shame, and secrets, until he finally found an evidence-based treatment that not only saved his life, but helped him thrive.

With grit, humor, and brutal honesty, David's story exposes the danger in traditional recovery models: They actually increase stigma and the risk of overdose, relapse, and death. As depression and addiction rates skyrocket and overdose fatalities surge, The Weight of Air is a scathing indictment of our failed response to the opioid crisis-and proof that success is possible.

©2021 David Poses (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about The Weight of Air

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Beautifully honest and touching

I came across this book in my research into addiction and being overwhelmed by the scale and prevalence of the problem. This book opened a compassionate door to many who are suffering from opioid addiction. 🙏

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  • Tucia Lyman
  • 16-06-22

Couldn’t stomach the narrator

I tried listening to this book 3 times but the voice of the narrator is so grating and annoying I can’t get through the last 3rd of it. He makes everyone sound nasty and shallow when i don’t think that’s what the writer intended. Hopefully it’s easier to read than it was to listen to.

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  • Kristy Aiken-Smith
  • 13-03-22

David’s story is invaluable

This book was wonderful, insofar as it was relatable, gut wrenching, emotional, and true to life. David masterfully describes addiction and the feelings of withdrawal, cravings, and the insatiable need to hide it, along with those feelings of guilt, shame, etc that every drug user knows all too well. He does right by the use of medication assisted treatments for SUD, which are still quite stigmatized as an invalid form of treatment. His storytelling about such a dark, hard topic is well-written, and the juxtaposition of that with him becoming quite successful while simultaneously suffering so much is amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I listened to it from start to finish in a single day. Anyone that has been touched by addiction in some way, from family members worried about a loved one, to activists in harm reduction, should read this book. I will say, if you are new to your own recovery, there is pretty descriptive imagery of drug use, so be aware of that ahead of time if that may be a trigger for you. Lastly, outside of this book, David has been a fierce advocate for the harm reduction community, and his voice will live on in this book, the work he has done with so much passion, and in his beautiful family. I hope he’s somewhere listening to some great music and hanging with Kurt Vonnegut. He is truly missed.

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  • Sommer Nicole Smith
  • 20-02-22

Truthful and relatable

David recounts his life struggling with addiction and mental health in a way that I think many will relate to. He covers how traditional rehabilitation and faith based programs lack any medical ground and "bandaid" the addiction rather than the root.

David felt like a friend.

I just learned of his passing and I am heartbroken. I am so proud of him and his work.

I may be shouting into the ether, but thank you, David, for reminding so many of us that we are not alone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-22

Wow he is so real snd raw, loved it!

I loved this book, it is easy to follow and touches all of the bases on addiction.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-07-22

An Important Book

I struggled to finish this book, but am glad I did as the message is a vital one for addicts and their families.

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  • shan3
  • 25-04-22

amazing insight

I would highly recommend this book if you know an addict of think you do.... I have addiction through out my family and in my close personal relations with alcoholics. I personally new this author and watch his children for over a decade. David was an amazing person and I never new his struggles. Perfect example of never judge someone by how much the do "look like the type". All I knew was how amazing a person, father and friend he was to anyone lucky enough to be in his life. He and his wifewhere such a wonderful example of marriage amd suppkrted eachother throughout everything. it deeply saddens me that he is no longer on this Earth to shed more wisdom to those who need it. perhaps his life purpose was completed? RIP David may you feel eternal bliss now.

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  • Kaylyn
  • 22-02-22

An honest and humorous ‘coming of addiction’ story

Incredibly well written true story of a life long addict struggling with depression. The story, told with vulnerable honesty, is both hilarious at times and frighteningly sad. A great read to learn how addicts really respond to rehab and the improbable challenges of trying to stay clean.