Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Efemena Efeurhobo 

"No one wants to talk about it"- Sam Quinones

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Heroin, it's something indeed people don't want to talk about. It's one of those drugs that you hear about, but don't really see it, yet it goes around. 

The author of Dreamland, Sam Quinones, goes on about his experience with heroin and how he grew up. The most he had ever heard of heroine when growing up was watching 'The French Connection'. 

The premise of the movie was the smuggling of heroin across the country. As he grew up he became a reporter and started working in Mexico doing stories on the drug trade and was introduced to the presence of black tar heroin. 

Black tar heroin is heroine, but not quite processed and extremely cheap. He was set to specifically cover how Mexico gets their drugs in The United States. A place that was severely affected by the black heroin epidemic was Huntington, WV. He reaches out to mexican drug dealers and tells him how they get started. These dealers go to areas with low rates of gang violence or violence at all and sells. They start with legitimate jobs like plumbers and carpenters, but they see the quick money with black tar heroine and drop their jobs Moving to northwest areas are where they see as better markets because opium poppies grow the best in the northwest to create heroin.

They've arrived in jeans

It was so easy to get pulled into the game of selling heroin as a young Mexican. What really astonished me was the fact that Levi jeans were the 'gold standard for these young poor mexicans. Heroin traffickers were easy to turn because for them to do it they just had to give dealers Levi jeans. They were the symbol of wealth and coolness so young mexicans were every attracted to them. Just young, broke, and looking to impress they usually were not in to gang violence.

The big shift

In 1980 the columbian cartel stepped in and began to funnel in tons of cocaine and heroin. Which brings us to our major shift in modern medicine and pain management itself. We were horrible and uneducated when it came to treating pain that doctors didn't know what to do. When you did have pain you would be prescribed very long term opiates. Which a lot of Americans were saying "Oh yeah!" too. The Cold War didn't help with this unstopping addiction, we wanted no pain after all the turmoil that left Americans on the edge of their seat. We were tired of feeling pain, we had been through enough, so bring on the opiates!

Be a community

This brings us to Portsmouth Ohio. A place that was severely hit hard by the heroin epidemic. And you want to know why? It's because a lack of community. Yep, we're so stuck in a time where everyone could really just use a better sense of community. Think about it, who even knows their neighbors next door anymore. Or plays outside with the neighbor hood kids and throws block parties. Especially this generation where technology has taken over, people just stay inside. 

So you might be thinking if you don't give your neighbor a pie and throw block parties you will turn to heroin. No, that's not exactly the point, but when you lose that sense of community no one is accountable for each other anymore or looking out for one another. WIth the dreamland pool that place was a place where everyone got together and had something to do and got to know one another and have fun. We need Dreamland.

    "Isolation is heroin's habitat." -Sam Quinones

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