News media coverage of American Pain:
West Virginia Executive, American Pain: A Q&A with John Temple, March 21, 2017.
Washington Post, “Inside the Pill Mill,” Jan. 8, 2016.
New York Post, “The Post’s Favorite Books of 2015,” Dec. 26, 2015.
Foreword Reviews, American Pain review, Nov. 27, 2015.
Bill’s Eye, Kentucky Educational Television, Book Fair Author Discusses Rise of Pill Mills, Nov. 9, 2015.
Rehab Reviews, The Two Brothers Who Created a Pill Mill that Killed for Bills, Nov. 6, 2015.
Feedback, U92 FM, Talk Show on Opioid Epidemic, Nov. 5, 2015.
Gorilla Convict, How Two Brothers Ran an Oxycodone Empire, Oct. 29, 2015.
Gulf Coast Live!, WGCU Southwest Florida, Author Documents Rise of Florida Pill Mills in new book, “American Pain,” Oct. 28, 2015.
Woodstock Writers Radio, Radio Woodstock, Interview with John Temple (segment starts at 35:30 mark), Oct. 25, 2015.
The Chad Hartman Show, WCCO Minneapolis, Interview with John Temple, Oct. 23, 2015.
The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, RT TV, Why Doesn’t the DEA Go After Big Pharma?, Oct. 23, 2015.
Daily Beast, DEA Secretly OKs Killer Quantities of Oxy, by John Temple, Oct. 21, 2015: “Prescription opioids are killing far more people than speed or sedatives ever did, but the government has signed off on enormous hikes in the drug supply almost every year.”
Charleston Gazette Mail, How Did West Virginia Come to Lead the Nation in Overdoses?, Oct. 17, 2015.
The Fix, How Did a Couple of Construction Workers Start the Opioid Epidemic?, Oct. 14, 2015: “American Pain, takes us right inside an operation that flooded Florida and the southeastern United States with prescription opiates.”
West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia Morning, Oct. 9, 2015.
Huffington Post, The Same Deadly Fix, Just Cheaper, Oct. 5, 2015: “Twenty years ago, opioids were the scariest drugs of all, the last-ditch addiction, the bottom of the barrel. Then, suddenly, everybody I knew seemed to know somebody who had a problem with them. Opioids had been normalized. And I wasn’t sure when or how it had happened.
In the summer of 2012, I found part of the answer when I read about the American Pain clinic.”
Mother Nature Network, The Story Behind America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic, Oct. 3, 2015: “The heart-racing opening scene grabs the reader by the lapel and never lets go until the book’s satisfying conclusion. It’s a riveting non-fiction book that reads like a James Patterson thriller.”
USA Today, American Pain Looks at Addiction, Sept. 20, 2015: “In American Pain, author John Temple, a journalism professor at West Virginia University, has written a tale of sun-baked greed that could have sprung from the keyboards of Florida novelists Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey. He shows how the brothers Chris and Jeff George, along with their friend and enforcer Derik Nolan, made millions while pushing painkillers such as OxyContin to addicts from multiple states, especially those in Appalachia.”
New York Post, Twins Build Drug Empire with Help from Doctors, Strippers, Sept. 13, 2015.
The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, American Pain “Reads Like Amazing Fiction,” Sept. 6, 2015: “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple (Lyons Press) reads like amazing fiction, but unfortunately for many Kentucky residents, it’s all true. It’s the story of how the oxycodone pill mill between Florida and Kentucky was established in 2008 and thrived until 2010, cutting a swath of addiction, greed, violence and death. Temple, a journalism professor at West Virginia University, worked from court records, news reports and personal interviews to craft an intriguing narrative. Apparently the story will be coming to the big screen, too. The book has been optioned by Warner Brothers.”
Library Journal review, September 2015: “Temple has written a propulsive prequel of sorts to Sam Quinones’s Dreamland... This title relates a hugely profitable Florida pain clinic that started in 2008 and collapsed in 2010 after a lengthy undercover federal investigation. It benefits greatly from the author’s interviews with the principals, Derik Nolan and Chris George, who had no medical background but saw a better opportunity than construction work or selling steroids. Using trial testimony, media reports, and interviews with many of the players, Temple reconstructed in a chronological fashion the day-to-day operations of the clinic. As a former news reporter, the author does an exquisite job of weaving a simple narrative of greed and addiction into a cautionary tale. Readers should start with this book, then read Dreamland to get the rest of the story. VERDICT Highly recommended for general and true crime audiences.
Publishers Weekly review,” September 2015: “This exhilarating blow-by-blow account details how brothers Chris and Jeff George and their sidekick, Derik Nolan, steroids-fueled collaborators with no prior medical experience, exploited Florida’s lax prescription drug laws to operate the largest pain clinic in the United States, from 2008 until a raid brought it all crashing down in 2010. Money poured in so fast that bills were stuffed in garbage cans behind cashier windows. A corrupt doctor taught the brothers how to sell massive quantities of the legally controlled (and highly addictive) painkiller oxycodone under the guise of a medical clinic. As long as a physician prescribed the drug and told so-called patients to adhere to the recommended dosage, everything was considered on the up and up. Eventually, the George brothers ran rival clinics, and Chris George’s American Pain became the premier facility of its kind on the East Coast, luring junkies from as far away as Kentucky and Ohio, where oxycodone control laws are tougher. Journalism professor Temple (The Last Lawyer) dissects the Georges’ criminal operation and documents the rise and fall of American Pain with precision and authority in this highly readable true crime account.”
WBOY Captures Interest in Painkillers, September 1, 2015.
Wheeling Intelligencer, Book Traces Roots of Pill Mill, August 30, 2015.
Miami New Times, Inside the Deadly South Florida Pain Clinic, August 26, 2015.
Listen to John live on WV Metro News, August 24, 2015
Charleston Gazette Mail, WVU Journalism Professor Publishes True-Crime Story: American Pain, August 23, 2015.
Morgantown Magazine, “Dark Heart,” August 3, 2015.
AV Club, Warner Bros. making a movie about illegal painkiller trafficking, Nov. 20, 2014
Variety, Warner Bros. Developing ‘American Pain’ Movie with Greg Berlanti, Nov. 19, 2014
Download high-resolution images:
Photos of John Temple (credit to WVU Reed College of Media):
Book jacket image for American Pain:
Book jacket image for The Last Lawyer:
Book jacket image for Deadhouse: