The Putnam Examiner

Brewster Resident Pens Novel About Struggles of Drug Addiction

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Brewster resident and author Linda Dahl

Throughout the last several years, the drug epidemic has reached every peak and valley in the United States, with Putnam County no exception. Brewster resident Linda Dahl’s latest novel speaks to the struggles Americans and Putnam residents are facing daily with drug addiction.

Her novel, titled The Bad Dream Notebook, which comes out Aug. 1 (today), is about a mother struggling to help her daughter who is addicted to opiates. While the topic of the book speaks to the times, it’s only one of the reasons Dahl penned it.

“I write about what’s really important to me,” Dahl said. “It definitely energized me and it continues to energize me as a writer and a human being so yeah, it was a factor, definitely an important factor, but not the only one.”

The book is about a daughter who becomes addicted to opioids and heroin and her parents, particularly her mother’s journey to deal with it, Dahl said. While the book is a work of fiction, it is a composite of experiences Dahl has learned about or witnessed first hand from work with several non-profit groups that help drug addicts.

The book is being sold on Amazon and other outlets like Barnes and Noble.

“There’s a lot of sadness, there’s a lot of pain, but there’s also a lot of hope in the novel,” she said. “Which I think is important because it’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re dealing with this.”

In fact, Dahl and her family have faced similar realities and struggles. Dahl’s daughter at one time suffered from drug addiction, but has been in recovery for several years.

She calls the drug epidemic locally and nationally “an unimaginable crisis” and believes it should be treated like a medically diagnosed brain disorder.

Dahl said her daughter was a popular, smart student growing up, but when she hit her mid-teens, she became depressed and cranky. Her daughter would go to parties and smoke marijuana and take prescription pills. Her daughter became addicted to oxycodone and it took five years into a spiraling heroin addiction to finally recover after rehab stints, Dahl said.

Dahl wants readers to get a “sense of compassion and care rather condemnation and contempt” for those addicted to drugs and their families that suffer too often in secret.

This isn’t her first book addressing drug addiction and families that fight it. Dahl’s last book, Loving Our Addicted Daughter Back to Life; a guidebook for parents was a non-fiction piece and she’s written one other book addressing the topic. Overall, this is Dahl’s eighth novel.

It took Dahl about a year and a half to write the book from start to finish, including the editing process. She said she tries to write the best book possible that readers will find invaluable.

“As a writer I wasn’t done with the topic and I hope I am now,” Dahl said. “It’s very precious to me because it does stem from my own child’s experience.”

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