Weekly InSight: The DEA and the Heroin Crisis in the United States

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In our October 26 Facebook Live session, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley and “Dreamland” author Sam Quinones discussed the homegrown opioid and heroin crisis in the United States.

Quinones’ original interest in the story was the revival of the heroin trade in Mexico. This eventually lead him to start investigating what has now become the opioid crisis in the United States, which leaves over 45,000 dead per year in the US. Amazingly, when he began investigating the topic in 2010, he could barely garner any interest in the topic. 

Quinones noted that several factors have contributed to the crisis, including how Americans have become accustomed to treating pain with opioid painkillers. Dudley and Quinones then went on to discuss whether doctors, pharmaceutical companies or politicians can and should be held responsible for the current crisis and what solutions can be employed to solve it moving forward.

The conversation took place just days after the DEA issued its annual threat assessment in which opioids and heroin are cited as the top targets for the agency. 

Watch the full conversation below:

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