Questions & Corrections

I have worked really hard – alongside my editor, fact-checker, and lawyers in the US and UK – to make sure everything in the book is accurate. If there are any errors left in the text, I’d be grateful for your help in correcting them for future editions and for the record. If you spot any mistakes, please email me at the address above. I’ll post corrections on the same date, and give you a shout-out for spotting them.

If there was anything the book left you wondering, please do message me at and I’ll be happy to try to figure out the answer.


  • Corrections XI – posted March 19th 2015 The excellent translator who is preparing the Spanish version of the book, María José Viejo, noticed some typos and minor errors that I’m keen to correct for the record and in future editions.   The first is a sentence that could be clearer. On page 269, it says: “After drug prohibition, it’s reasonable to expect that the milder forms of drugs that were popular before prohibition will come back, just as beer did.” A few people stumbled on this sentence – it would be clearer to say “After drug prohibition ends, it’s reasonable…”   On pages 53 and 141, where it says “Plato o plomo,” it should in fact say say “Plata o plomo.”   On page 133, where it says “Fronterisa Baja”, it should say “Fronteriza Baja.”   On page 163, where it says “arbeit macht frei,” it should say “Arbeit macht frei”. (My dad, who is a German speaker, also noticed this with a tut).   On pages 336 and 372, where it says ‘9 Murders a Day’, (referring to the name of a documentary), it should say '8 Murders a Day.'   On pages 353 note 1, and 354 note 8 and 366, where it says ‘Rosencoff’, it should say‘Rosencof’.   Also, a few lines were cut for legal reasons at the last minute, but due to a production glitch, we didn’t cut the endnotes that go with them. They will be cut in future editions. They are:   On page 330   “107 fight in the showers Gabba later told me she did not believe these women were telling the truth and she had never seen that happen.”   “107 proven to happen in California See the HBO documental Gladiator Days.”   And on page 331   “112 to switch her off  <>.”   Thanks to Mario for spotting these – I really appreciate it.
  • Corrections X – posted March 12th 2015 Nancy Carroll emailed to point out a typo. On page 211, I mistyped Ed Bradley's name as "Ed Brantley". Thanks to Nancy for pointing this out - it will be corrected in future editions.
  • Corrections IX – posted 7th March 2015 On p51, I refer to the World Series baseball game rigged by Arnold Rothstein in 1919, and say “50 million people were listening in.” In fact, the first live radio broadcast of the World Series was in 1921 – I will change this in future editions to say “50 million people were following the result.” Thanks to the reader who emailed about this – I haven’t heard back from him yet about whether I can use his name but I’ll post it if he gives permission. On p120, I refer to the videogame Rosalio Reta used to play as ‘The Mask of Zelda.’ In fact, it is called ‘The Legend of Zelda.’ Thanks to Mark Whitfield for emailing me about this. On p251, there’s a page reference that is given incorrectly in the footnotes. I refer to how HIV transmission among drug users has fallen dramatically in Portugal since drugs were decriminalized, and the footnote says the evidence for this can be found on page 36 of Arthur Domaslawski’s research; in fact, it is on page 40. Thanks to Stuart Rodger for pointing this out.
  • Corrections VIII – posted February 27th Alison Wrbik emailed to point out two typos: On page 276, I wrote: “The cops demanded to know:  Where do you buy your marijuana? What suppliers to you know?” The ‘to’ in the last sentence should of course be ‘do.’ On page 293, where it says “I looked him just now,” it should say “I looked at him just now”.   And Ron Dodd emailed to point out some more typos. On page 51, where it says “he said was broke” – it should say “he said he was broke.” On page 70, where it says “And yet sometimes Chino went looking for Deborah, in the park, on the benches, or on the corner where should could be looking for business, because Chino wanted her.” It should say: “And yet sometimes Chino went looking for Deborah, in the park, on the benches, or on the corner where she would be looking for business, because Chino wanted her.” On page 76, where it says “sent to back to prison,” the first ‘to’ should be cut. On page 191, where it says “if I can just stay enough long enough”, the first ‘enough’ is a mistake. On page 296, when it says “When I learned from Chino and Bud is…” it should say “What I learned from Chino and Bud is…”   Also, there is an error in Chapter Six that was picked up in my fact-checking conversations with Leigh Maddox and was supposed to be fixed but – due to an editing mistake – appeared incorrectly in the final edition. On page 86, it refers to Leigh’s dad as having been in the US Army. He was in fact in the US Navy.   In addition, Stuart Rodger spotted that I forgot to post one of the audio clips from the book. It is of Chino Hardin saying an act “actually made us look weaker” – I have found that audio clip and it will be posted soon.   Seth Mnookin, writing in the New York Times, suggested an attribution in the book should have been clearer and taken out of the footnotes and inserted into the main text. On reflection, I have concluded he is right. On page 213 I write: “Research published in the Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh compared Widnes, which had a heroin clinic, to the very similar Liverpool borough of Bootle, which didn’t.” This sentence should be clearer, and in future will read: “Research published by John in the Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh compared Widnes, which had a heroin clinic, to the very similar Liverpool borough of Bootle, which didn’t.” Thanks to Alison, Ron, Stuart and Seth. If you are reading the book and you spot any other errors please do email me – chasingthescream - because it is important to me to make sure everything about the book is entirely accurate.
  • Corrections VII – posted February 17th 2015 Clare Barlett and Charles Cairns both emailed to point out a typo on page 231 – where it refers to the “patents” of Dr Hal Vorse, it should say “patients.” Thanks to both of you for spotting this.
  • Corrections VI – posted 8th Feb 2015 There is a typo on page 268. It says: "When you ban a drug, it's very risk to transport it - so dealers will always choose the drug that packs the strongest possible kick into the smallest possible space." It should of course say 'risky', not risk. Thank you to Erin Klassen for pointing this out.