Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't know where to begin. I was completely transported into a world of which I knew so little, until now - the American heroin epidemic. It was shocking. Disturbing. I could not put it down. Quinones details all of the elements which created a perfect storm of overwhelming, widespread addiction.
The author pulls no punches. He exposes the pharmaceutical industry in its aggressive (often illegal) marketing of opiates and its sinister exploitation of human frailty in the face of pain. He exposes the pill mills, the pain clinics and the greedy, low-life doctor's who enabled an entire culture by whipping out the prescription pad hundreds of times a day. (Opioid prescriptions are just heroin produced in a lab.) He exposes the insurance companies and the regulatory organizations for their roles in creating the monsters who created the addicts. Finally, he exposes the illegal Mexican immigrants, all hailing from the small Mexican state of Nyarit. These were young men who looked for middle class and upper class young white kids (who were using Oxycontin) and then specifically targeted them by giving them black-tar heroin.....a stronger, cheaper, even more addictive substance. The cold-blooded calculation it took to deliberately create addicts who would fuel their business, enabling them to take massive amounts of $$ earned back to Mexico, along with Levis 501 jeans and Tommy Hilfiger -- chapter by chapter, I read, and I was sickened.
So many deaths. So many lives gutted. So many families destroyed. So many hearts broken.
I did not know. I almost wish I could go back to not knowing.
There are so many ways that this country has gotten medicine and treatments wrong. Both the pharmaceutical industry and the illegal immigrants from Mexico come out reeking of malevolence and diabolism.
You may not be directly affected by heroin addiction - today. But, know that it is rampant and it continues to stretch its villainous fingers - reaching, reaching, reaching for our children - with a ghastly bloodlust.
Read this book. It will open your eyes and that could save a life.
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