'Dreamland' Author Sam Quinones Brings Story of Opiate Crisis to Akron

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Journalist Sam Quinones was covering how drugs traveled across the border into the U.S. when he stumbled upon a much larger story about people across the country becoming addicted to opiates prescribed by doctors.

The drug dealers noticed, too, and they brought heroin to cities and small towns across the county to supply people addicted to prescription opiates for pain management.

“That was how people were getting addicted, and then they were switching to heroin,” he said.

Quinones describes how heroin was delivered like pizza from coast to coast, including in suburbs and rural areas, in his book, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.”

Quinones comes to the Akron area for a series of speaking events, including a free discussion at Akron’s main library, 60 S. High St., Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Akron librarians Bob and Ricki Ethington reached out to Quinones after reading the book in an effort to help raise community awareness about the issue.

“I think that Sam Quinones, when he comes and opens the windows on this whole story, will be really enlightening to a lot of people.”

 The married couple experienced the problem personally, as their son, Dylan, was addicted to heroin. He died in December.

“It’s something you don’t want to talk about to a lot of people,” Bob Ethington said. “You want to hide it. You want to deny it.”

Quinones said more families are beginning to share their experiences and more people are paying attention to the issue.

“You’ve got to be on the lookout of what the warning signs are,” he said. “You’ve got to know who has been affected by this and willing to give a helping hand.”

Hear the interview with Sam Quinones today on Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause on 90.3. at 1:30 p.m. and in the player above.


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