'Dreamland' Author Sam Quinones Will Visit Akron on Wednesday


Dreamland took the country by storm two years ago, igniting a broad conversation about the dramatic increase in heroin overdose deaths in the Midwest and elsewhere. Author Sam Quinones is regarded as one of the expert voices on this public health crisis and the social, political and economic causes behind it.

Quinones will be in Akron on Wednesday, April 12, to discuss his work and the Summit County agencies working to tackle this major problem. In the morning, he will join Dr. Gregory Roulette, Dr. Alan Shein, Dr. Doug Smith and Travis Bornstein at Firestone Auditorium for a panel discussion on local leaders shaping the response to the heroin problem. In the evening, Quinones will discuss Dreamland at the Akron-Summit County Library.

The author comes to Northeast Ohio via Cover2 Resources, a relatively new Northeast Ohio organization that is raising awareness of the spiderwebbed network of realities now bolstering the epidemic. The McNeil family lost a son and brother, Sam McNeil, to a heroin overdose in October 2015 — nearly 10 years after an original prescription for pain medication led him toward an addiction.

"There was so much that we just didn't know as a family," Greg McNeil tells Scene. "We feel like that education — had we had it — you know, maybe it could have made a difference for Sam. It's hard to tell, and I have become, through this journey, spiritual. ... One thing that we do know is we can provide education for other families where we will change the outcome for them."

We recommend readers check out Cover2's four "Beyond 'Dreamland'" podcast episodes, in particular.

The morning panel and evening talk with Quinones are both free and open to the public; register here. Our coverage of Quinones' visit will be included in an upcoming feature on the role that police departments are playing in Northeast Ohio's heroin crisis.

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