** Dreamland by Sam Quinones


Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic describes how the mad marketing of OxyContin, based on bad science and a greedy pharmaceutical industry, combined with a new heroin distribution model initiated from a tiny state in Mexico created a boom of heroin consumption that left hundreds of unlikely addicts dead. I did not care for the breathless tone of the story, nor for the many repeats as the author whipped through short chapters focused, in turn, on the heroin dealers, the police, unscrupulous doctors, and the drug companies, but the story is gripping. Fortunately the author is able to report on some interesting (simple!) initiatives to combat the prescription-pill abuse that is at the root of the problem.

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