The new white, middle class, suburban heroin addict

April 23rd, 2015
suburbia.jpgFor years we’ve had just one image of the drug wars.  Images conjured up from movies like the Godfather or Scarface, or reading about the LA battles between the Bloods and the Crips.

But drugs, like everything else, are subject to the pressures and demands of the free market. And creative destruction in the drug business has meant a drug dealer that is kinder and gentler.  A dealer that appreciates the value of customer service, that understands that many drug users, particularly of painkillers and heroin, are respectable middle class citizens. 

According to the CDC, everyday 44 people in the United States die from an overdose of prescription painkillers, with many more addicts being created everyday. Together the unlikely combination of Doctors, all to eager and  willing to prescribe and the boys of Xalisco, Mexico have created a perfect storm of addiction. Sam Quinones takes us to an Ohio town that is ground zero for the new heroin addiction, in Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

My conversation with Sam Quinones: