As Needed for Pain

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As Needed for Pain

A Memoir of Addiction

Dan Peres, Joe Hempel


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In the vein of Mary Karr’s Lit, Augusten Burroughs’ Dry and Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting—and often wryly funny—addiction memoir from one of New York media’s most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career.

Dan Peres wasn’t born to be a media insider. As an awkward, magic-obsessed adolescent, nothing was further from his reality than the catwalks of Paris or the hallways of glossy magazine publishers. A gifted writer and shrewd cultural observer, Peres eventually took the leap—even when it meant he had to fake a sense of belonging in a new world of famed fashion designers, celebrities, and some of media’s biggest names. But he had a secret: opiates.

Peres’s career as an editor at W magazine and Details is well known, but little is known about his private life as a high-functioning drug addict. In As Needed for Pain, Peres lays bare for the first time the extent of his drug use—at one point a 60-pill-a-day habit.

By turns humorous and gripping, Peres’s story is a cautionary coming-of-age tale filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking brushes with disaster. But the heart of the book is his journey from outsider to insecure insider, what it took to get him there, and how he found his way back from a killing addiction.

As Needed for Pain offers a rare glimpse into New York media’s past—a time when print magazines mattered—and a rarefied world of wealth, power, and influence. It is also a brilliant, shocking dissection of a life teetering on the edge of destruction, and what it took to pull back from the brink.


Dan Peres:

Dan Peres was editor in chief of Details for fifteen years, starting

in 2000, when the title relaunched under his leadership. During his

tenure, the magazine won many awards, including two National

Magazine Awards. Before taking the editorship of Details, Dan

spent nine years at W magazine, overseeing bureaus in Paris,

London, and Milan. While in college, he worked as a copy boy at

the New York Times and later as a research assistant at Esquire. He

is the author of Details Men’s Style Manual. He lives in New York

and has three sons.