Los Angeles-based freelance journalist
Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here
Sam Quinonesis a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, which recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st century. One story is how a pharmaceutical corporation promotes its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as non-addictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza in the U.S., and take that system nationwide, riding a wave of addiction to prescription pills from coast to coast. The collision of those two forces has led to America’s deadliest drug scourge in modern times.
Mr. Quinones is formerly a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, and is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border. His talk will focus on the various origins of our epidemic of opiate addiction, including pain specialists, pharmaceutical company marketing, doctors’ prescribing, a changing heroin market, Mexican traffickers, the destruction of community and isolation of American life.