Chris Fleming writes books and articles and may eventually get around to using Twitter properly.


On Drugs



     Books and Publishing

     An Australian Book Review 2019 Book of the Year

“Wow. Chris Fleming is (somewhat secretly) one of the best writers and minds in Australia and On Drugs is just brilliant. This is searching, insightful, compelling, and best of all, funny. Get on it.” Robert Lukins, author of The Everlasting Sunday.

“Chris Fleming is in a league of his own.” Jonathan Gavin, screenwriter of The Beautiful Lie and Cleverman.

“Probably won’t read a better Australian book this year than Chris Fleming’s remarkable On Drugs.” Sam Twyford-Moore, author of The Rapids.

“The best memoir I’ve ever read.” Laura McPhee-Brown, author of Cherry Beach.

"His stories of being a high functioning addict are frank, devastating, and at times, very funny. This memoir is stunning." Elizabeth McCarthy, Book Reviewer on 3RRR and Host of The Wheeler Centre's "Books & Ideas At Montalto" series.

"It's rare to find a writer with the vocabulary and intellectual capacity to depict the grotesque and gratuitous lows found at the depths of a drinking binge while still confronting the higher level problems in representing it. An extraordinary book." - Jack Cameron-Stanton, Sydney Morning Herald The Age.

"On Drugs is - I have to use the word - mindblowing. A memoir not to be missed." Morgan Smith, Gleebooks Gleaner.

"This is as gripping, intelligent, gut-wrenching, and funny (yes, funny) as everyone says. It's in a league of its own. Please read it." Erin Gough, author of Flywheel and Amelia Westlake Was Never Here.

“This is an amazing book – one of the best I’ve ever read on addiction. Up there with Luke Davies’ Candy, but much less romantic.” Brigid Delaney, author of Wild Things and The Restless Life.

"On Drugs is anything but a comfortable read, but it is vital and, for those who brave it, a rewarding experience. While the depths of addiction are conveyed precisely and unsparingly, the voice is so sober and awake that it really does offer hope that addiction – of any kind – can be overcome, and something made of it." James Antoniou, Australian Book Review.

"This is an utterly extraordinary book - just extraordinary. I was riveted." Peter Goers, ABC Evenings.

"People who don't read this book should be fined." Dr Alex Wodak

Early versions of parts of the book were published in two instalments in the Sydney Review of Books: On Drugs, Part I, and On Drugs, Part II. The latter of these was named in Overland as one of the best Australian essays of the last decade.

For media inquiries please contact Nick Tapper: / 0424 697 976




SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

Interview with Lynne Malcolm on ABC Radio National's "All in the Mind," about drugs, obsession, addiction, and recovery.

Image by Олег Жилко
Image by Scott Rodgerson

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019

Writer profile in Kill Your Darlings.

OCTOBER 15, 2019

Interview with Joe Hildebrand and Angela Bishop on Studio 10 about On Drugs.

Image by Dhruv Weaver

MARCH 5, 2020

Recording of the panel at Adelaide Writers' Week, with Antony Lowenstein and Mandy Whyte, on "Keeping It Together: A Rational Response to Drugs."

MARCH 25, 2020

How do we repair after loss and pain? After this past season of bushfires, and now with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a critical time to talk about how we mend ourselves, and our art practice, after tragedy. Comedian Judith Lucy talks to us about exploring family struggle and personal tragedy in her act, and how that’s affected her relationships.
We talk to Ella Holcombe about regrowing her family after the devastation of the Black Saturday bushfires over a decade ago. Associate Professor Chris Fleming chats with us about the problem of using the term “recovery” to describe a life-long process surrounding addiction. While Jill Bennett talks us through the difference between recovery and repair in working through trauma. Our theme music is ‘Chasing Waterfalls’ by Tim Shiel with additional music from The Other Stars.

Image by Stock Photography


I teach writing, philosophy, and social analysis at Western Sydney University, Australia.

Links to my academic work in philosophy and cultural theory can be found here.

I've also written for wider audiences in publications such as The Guardian, The LA Review of BooksThe ConversationThe Chronicle Review,  Sydney Review of Books, Literary Hub, Kill Your Darlings, Westerly, Paragraph, and Artlink - and ... other things I can't currently bring to mind.

Recent media interviews include discussions of drug testing, my memoir On Drugs, and contemporary political rhetoric

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Fleming Drawing_edited.jpg

Get In Touch

For inquiries about On Drugs, including requests for for interviews, please contact Nick Tapper: 0424 697 976 or

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