Dreamland the Story of America's New Opiate Epidemic

Dreamland the Story of America's New Opiate Epidemic

Book - 2014
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Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction

Named on Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar ( Politico ) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics ( Bloomberg / WSJ ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky ( WSJ ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015-- Entertainment Weekly 's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015-- Seattle Times ' Best Books of 2015-- Boston Globe 's Best Books of 2015-- St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Best Books of 2015-- The Guardian 's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015-- Texas Observer 's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland .

With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.

Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9781620402504
Branch Call Number: 362.2930973 QUI

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David_W_B
Sep 15, 2019

Progressing through this, the themes appeared over and over; unscrupulous medical professionals and hopeless public administration, people with pain and suffering looking for relief, opportunistic and carefully organized illegal drug cartels/retailers, towns and cities with holes blown through the middle of their economy and the lives of their citizens. It was so tiring to see this happening all through the eastern and middle United States, and eventually to the west as well. So frightening, and such unconscienable applications of the rules of commerce and a proper relationship with our fellow humans. Absolutely depressing, but it clearly communicates the extent of social damage done to families by the opioid death epidemic.

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swheeler89
Nov 13, 2018

I wanted to like this book more than I did. The anecdotes and various story-lines were fascinating and the author's thesis was challenging, but the style was too choppy for me. While I would still recommend this book due to the relevance and the importance that dialogue can have on helping fight an epidemic, at times the read was too exhaustive (and name intensive). Might have enjoyed it more if it were two books instead of one?..

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jduff79
Nov 02, 2018

Left off on p 89

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xiaojunbpl12
Sep 19, 2018

Xalisco Boys' success can rival the best case study in business schools, it's almost too ingenious to be credible. Purdue Pharma led prescription drug dealing is astounding, but also classic. Well structured narrative is thorough, broad and digging deep. On human aspect of the demand for morphine molecule, my search for missing pieces in the analysis was fulfilled in final chapters.

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Anita_Dickey
May 01, 2018

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book about a problem facing society today. it takes place near my hometown. it was definately differant to read the book and see that it is true because i can look right up the street to see real time examples. the book is written in a very easy to read style. although true it reads almost like a fiction book. unfortunately it is not.

a
annod
Mar 19, 2018

This book brought home the sheer greed of pharmaceutical company executives. They are absolutely a government-supported drug cartel in many ways. Also very disturbing: the most devious of the doctors who wrote millions of opiate subscriptions to encourage addiction so that he could grow his wealth was a man named Dr. David Procter, who is a Canadian, who after 12 years in prison, was deported back to Canada and now lives in Toronto. I sure hope he is not practicing medicine here today. If so, it would be sheer negligence on the part of the Canadian government and medical association to allow this man to ever hold a prescription pad in his hand again.

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MiriamMihokHopkin
Jan 05, 2018

JUly 2018

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buttrfli60
Aug 31, 2017

In the chapter "The Poppy" on page 55, he says that one of the brand names that the heroin dealers came up with in the 1970s was "Obamacare". What?? Obama was just a little kid in the 1970s.

Cynthia_N Apr 17, 2017

Quinones did a great job of bringing together the factors that created the current drug epidemic. I definitely have a solid understanding of how we got here. Slow read but so worth it!

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Dougmarker
Feb 26, 2017

I found this book tedious. He has a fascinating, alarming story to tell, but the book is constructed in seemingly random vignettes lacking structure. It becomes repetitive quickly.

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Nutty
Jan 10, 2017

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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