I have delivered hundreds of presentations for the Heroin/Opiate Initiative in the five years as an employee of Harbor. Often, I am asked, “why” or “how” we have gotten to the point where drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio and throughout the U.S. I remember in those early years really struggling to answer those questions because the opioid epidemic is multifaceted and evolved over time. There is no simple answer. I now refer people to read Dreamland…… The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. This book nicely outlines those contributing factors that lead us to this point in history where we are not only battling a major health pandemic, COVID-19, but also a troubling opioid overdose epidemic.
I have read Dreamland many times and have studied its contents. The author presented his book to the Toledo area in October of 2017 in an event sponsored by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Because of our collaborative relationship with the Lucas County Public Library, I was welcomed to host a book group for people who wanted to explore those many facets to this problem. The library, in January, 2020 assisted the Heroin/Opiate Initiative in providing a discussion of Dreamland with the author. That January evening there was a group of people gathered at the library in Sylvania, Ohio with Sam Quinones joining in through a virtual platform. He is coming again to discuss the book with Harbor and the Library on June 24th from 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm live on Harbor’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HarborHelps We invite all of you to join in the discussion even if you haven’t read the book. If you are interested, however, in reading the book you can borrow it from the Toledo Lucas County Public Library https://www.toledolibrary.org/
Sam Quinones’ Dreamland was initially published in 2015. He will be releasing a follow-up book, The Least of Us on October 12, 2021. The Heroin/Opiate Initiative’s staff will certainly be reading this new book and who knows, may just gear up to offer book group discussions about The Least of Us as well. Until then, consider joining in on June 24th.