Dan Peres looked like he had a glamorous life. He was working in New York City in a great career as an elite journalist. No one knew that on the inside he was broken, alone, and terrified.
Dan Peres always sought relief from a cripplingly low self-esteem. He became instantly addicted to opioid painkillers when he was given them after a surgery, sending him into an addiction that demanded up to fifteen Vicodin at a time. Dan was putting everything in danger to feed his habit until he didn’t recognize who he was anymore.
Today, Dan is 12 years clean and has just released his book, As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction. He tells us his dark journey into the depths of prescription addiction, what he did to claw his way out, and how he found himself again.
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.
As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction
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.