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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Dreamland, a searing follow-up that explores the terrifying next stages of the opioid epidemic and the quiet yet ardent stories of community repair.

Sam Quinones traveled from Mexico to main streets across the US to create Dreamland, a groundbreaking portrait of the opioid epidemic that awakened the nation. As the nation struggled to put back the pieces, Quinones was among the first to see the dangers that lay ahead: synthetic drugs and a new generation of kingpins whose product could be made in Magic Bullet blenders. In fentanyl, traffickers landed a painkiller a hundred times more powerful than morphine. They laced it into cocaine, meth, and counterfeit pills to cause tens of thousands of deaths - at the same time as Mexican traffickers made methamphetamine cheaper and more potent than ever, creating, Sam argues, swaths of mental illness and a surge in homelessness across the United States.

Quinones hit the road to investigate these new threats, discovering how addiction is exacerbated by consumer-product corporations. “In a time when drug traffickers act like corporations and corporations like traffickers,” he writes, “our best defense, perhaps our only defense, lies in bolstering community.” Amid a landscape of despair, Quinones found hope in those embracing the forgotten and ignored, illuminating the striking truth that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable.

Weaving analysis of the drug trade into stories of humble communities, The Least of Us delivers an unexpected and awe-inspiring response to the call that shocked the nation in Sam Quinones' award-winning Dreamland.

©2021 Sam Quinones (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Least of Us

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Top tier journalism and 100% honest

I am a cop and this maps 1:1 onto my experiences with people addicted to meth. This book needs to blow up!

3 people found this helpful

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Insightful look at Drug addiction

As a recovering addict this book hit close to home and explained alot about the "New Meth" P2P.
I definitely recommend the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • 11-17-21

Bootstraps

Bootstraps do exist.
Together we can pull on them.
Together we can get boots on the ground

Gracias, Samuel, por haber escrito este libro. Con tus palabras estás creando comunidad.

¡¡¡ Pa’lante siempre !!!

2 people found this helpful

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Please Read this book!

Absolute amazing look into drugs in our society. Must read for all Americans. This book overlays perfectly with what I have seen in my 20-year career as a firefighter and paramedic on the streets of Seattle. I've seen lots of change in the drug using community over those years but but could never quantify what exactly was going on. The book exquisitely connected those dots for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreaking, infuriating, inspiring, hopeful

Through my work I know a bit about addiction, mental illness, homelessness, and public policy. I’ve read this author’s previous book Dreamland, as well as many others on this subject. This book should be required reading, right now, for every health professional, elected official and community leader—especially good folks struggling with what to do about tent encampments and increasing homelessness. I binge-listened to it because it educated me and it humanized and illuminated these complex problems, and possible solutions, through vividly told personal stories. The narrator is first rate. Highly recommend.

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LOVE THIS

This book is AMAZING!! highly recommended for anyone working or around addiction. The reader is so soothing as well

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Fantastic blend of personal and community stories

I am a physician with an interest in addiction medicine. This book is an excellent bringing-up-to-speed of where the drug trade is now and where it is heading with synthetics - more easily produced, transportable, more addictive, cheaper and more available than ever. The personal stories are both tragic and triumph. Examples of successful programs are inspiring. Narration is great. Highly recommend.

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Multiple books, one of which is excellent

The book is too ambitious and attempts to describe the fentanyl and methamphetamine scourge from neurological, sociological, human-interest, and economic perspectives. I could have done without the neuroscience and stretched analogies between fast-food and drug addictions. I could also have done without the author's simplistic and leftist economic views: corporations are bad. Finally, the author's retelling of the Purdue Pharma/Oxycontin story was fine, but has been covered elsewhere in more detail and better. But the book is excellent and important at its heart: describing in heart-breaking detail the stories of addicts and dealers, and the cops and especially citizens who try to sort through the wreckage and make things better. The book finally calls out the media for focusing on housing costs rather than drug addiction when describing homeless tent cities, which reinforce a drug-centered life and are funded by pimping and theft. Makes clear that “leniency” for addicts is often the worst thing for them, as it allows them to continue their criminal and horribly self-destructive behavior. While drug courts can help, it is the threat of prison that gets addicts to choose to participate in treatment programs.