Greg interviews Sam Quinones, author of the best-selling book Dreamland. A true tale of America’s opioid epidemic, Dreamland is a poignant and insightful narrative of the current threat sweeping the nation. Sam shares a story of a community pool he encountered in Portsmouth, Ohio to explain why the book is named Dreamland. “I began to hear stories of this gorgeous pool that held the community together. It acted as a babysitter and class distinctions almost faded, because everyone looked the same in a swimsuit. The name of the pool was Dreamland,” says Sam. “It was almost a stand-in for the communities we’ve destroyed in so many parts of the country. When jobs left the community, the pool was replaced by a strip mall.”
Sam strongly feels that oxycodone is the reason for America’s opioid epidemic. “We wouldn’t have the intense heroin problem that we have today, without the cheap heroin from Mexico and Colombia,” says Sam. He explains that because people start on the pills, there are no social barriers within the epidemic. “All that stigma and fear of needles fades away because the addiction is so domineering. Opioid addiction today is one of the most potent threats to personal freedom that we have in America,” says Sam.
He goes on to explain just how the affordable Mexican dealers set up shop in America. He says that essentially people help them, since they often don’t know how to speak English or where to go. “The addicts befriended them and opened up the markets to them. They developed their own system for selling by giving out free samples and standing outside of methadone clinics,” says Sam.
Listen to the podcast to hear how the dealers used a “pizza delivery system” to hook people, how we can join the fight against the opioid epidemic and how the epidemic has changed since he wrote Dreamland.