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Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

February 1 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st century: A pharmaceutical corporation flags its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as nonaddictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza in the US, 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. Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015.

Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and the author of three books of narrative nonfiction. He has reported on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border as a reporter for the L.A. Times (2004–2014) and as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994–2004).

This event is sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series, the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life, and the IHC’s Idee Levitan Endowment.