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From OxyContin to heroin: Behind America’s deadly addiction




Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont.
Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Heroin-related deaths tripled in the U.S. between 2010 and 2013, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Author and journalist Sam Quinones blames big pharma.

In his new book, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” Quinones exposes a troubling trend in the States. He theorizes that doctors, working closely with the producers of prescription opiates like Vicodin, OxyContin and morphine, have helped create a nation of addicts.

Though many drugs in the opioid family are prescribed for legitimate reasons, Quinones contends that there may be just as many that aren’t. When doctors work too closely with powerful drug corporations, he says that financial motivations lead many physicians to over-prescribe powerful pills.

Digging deeper into the issue, he links the deaths of suburban young men at the hands of black tar heroin to the doctors who enabled their addictions.

Guest:

Sam Quinones, author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” (Bloomsbury Press, 2015). He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to 2014



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