Author Addresses Opiate Epidemic In Peoria

Photo: Alpha Media-Julia Bradley

Heroin and opiate addiction is the subject of a presentation at Peoria’s Riverside Community Church Tuesday night.

Nationally-recognized author Sam Quinones, who wrote “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic”, is meeting with community leaders and law enforcement before speaking at Riverside Church at 7:00 p.m.

“This is a problem that has spread all across the country due primarily first of all to a revolution in pain management that began in legitimate U.S. medicine,” Quinones told WMBD’s Greg and Dan.

“Most doctors thought they were doing the right thing by prescribing opiates for pain in the 1990’s,” Quinones said. “But, people got addicted, and often ended up turning to Heroin when they couldn’t get or afford prescription pain-killers.”

Quinones says most people addicted to opiate pain-killers start taking them for work-related or athletic injuries, and have not been previously addicted to drugs.

Quinones says the peak of America’s opiate epidemic was in the 1990’s when pharmaceutical companies introduced pain-killers like OxyContin.

“We had this enormous new supply of opiate pain-killers sloshing around the country. Those pills contained drugs chemically related to Heroin,” Quinones said.

Quinones says law enforcement cannot be blamed for not being able to get rid of the opiate epidemic.

“We have to look at ourselves to help solve the problem. And, doctors and pharmaceutical companies also have a crucial role in stopping the opiate epidemic.”

Quinones will speak at Riverside Community Church, 207 NE Monroe St in Peoria, Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Copies of his book “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” are available for checkout at all Peoria Public Library locations.

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