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In the 19th century, we had opium dens and the patent medicine laudanum, a solution of opium and alcohol, to which prominent figures like Mary Todd Lincoln and Samuel Coleridge became addicted. In the 20th century, the opiate heroin ravaged the big cities. Later in that century, painkiller opiates, like Oxycontin and Vicodin became available as prescription drugs, killing thousands. In the 21st century, opioids–both painkillers and heroin–moved from black neighborhoods in the big cities to the small rural towns of the white working class. Now opioids are finding their way into the suburbs of the middle class.
Paula Rinehart reviews the bestselling Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy, a book that chronicles our current opioid crisis, including the development and marketing of Oxycontin by the pharmaceutical company owned by the Sackler brothers, best known as philanthropists whose name is on museums, scientific research centers, and cultural institutions across the nation. The reviewer begins by telling how drugs are now impinging on her neighborhood.
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From Paula Rinehart, The Opiate Epidemic Is Coming To A Suburb Near You:
One recent summer morning, I awoke to discover that the house across from ours had been surrounded by a SWAT team in the middle of the night. That’s unusual stuff here in my sleepy southern neighborhood of two-car...
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