Tor.com content by

Mark Matthews

The Compassion of Addiction Horror

[Content Warning: body horror and drug use]

If you want to tell the truth, best to do so in a story, and when these truths are dark, best to do so through a work of horror.

Horror is most powerful when it reveals a larger truth about the world we live in. Tackling the devastation of our current opioid crisis is no different. Citing statistics about the number of people who have died from overdoses hardly has the same impact as the tale of one who has suffered. To hear about the nature of addiction in a story, putting the reader into the addict’s body, brain, and spirit as it morphs into something unrecognizable, something horrific, makes the larger crisis much more personal. In this way, horror facilitates understanding, empathy, and even compassion.

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