The Social Science Research Institute's Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction (CSUA) and the Criminal Justice Research Center hosted a virtual talk with Sam Quinones on March 23, titled "True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth with Sam Quinones.”
During the talk, Quinones talked about writing his books and completing research on the changing landscape of the opioid crisis in the last several years, the appearance of fentanyl and how it replaced other forms of opiates like prescription pills and heroin, the usage of Narcan, opioid lawsuits, and other related substance use and addiction topics. He also answered submitted questions during the Q&A part of the session.
“How do you treat a very complicated problem originating in the central nervous system with one pill? In this country, we need to address it in a multidisciplinary way,” said Quinones on the topic of the overprescribing of opioids in the United States. “For example, I think one of the important things we absolutely need to do is rethink using prison first as a place for recovery.”
Quinones is a journalist, storyteller, former Los Angeles Times reporter, and author of three acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction. He is the author of "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic" and several other titles including his most recent release, “The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth.” His career as a journalist has spanned almost 30 years. He lived for 10 years as a freelance writer in Mexico, where he wrote his first two books.
Housed in the Social Science Research Institute, the CSUA draws on the expertise of researchers, educators and practitioners from across Penn State to develop and implement effective programs, policies and practices aimed at preventing and treating addiction and its spillover effects on children, families, and communities.
The full talk is available on YouTube.