Summer Read 2018


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Summer Read 2018: Dreamland

Join the Conversation—Read Sam Quinones best-selling book!

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

The Library System of Lancaster County and neighboring Central PA library systems are teaming up with WITF’s Transforming Health and Aligning Forces for Quality – South Central PA and to present a “Summer Read.”  Through September, the public is invited to visit their local library to borrow and read Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic written by acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones; then participate in discussions of the book with their friends, family and library-sponsored book discussion groups.

“A Summer Read” kicked off this year’s campaign with the free author event that was held on Monday, April 30 at the Pullo Center in York. A local leader panel discussion   facilitated the conversation of the importance of community response to the epidemic that continues to affect our local communities.

Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland. This book is an explosive true account of addiction, marketing and the making of an epidemic weaves together the story of Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, while, at the same time, a massive influx of black tar heroin took the county by storm through an almost unbreakable marking and distribution system.

Dreamland was selected as the 2015 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in non-fiction.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America—addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.

Sam Quinones, author of DreamlandAcclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two riveting tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been a catastrophic opiate epidemic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive–extremely addictive–miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin–cheap, potent, and originating from one small county, Xalisco, Nayarit, on Mexico’s west coast and independent of any drug cartel, assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.

Borrow the Book

Books are on the shelves now. A Summer Read runs now through September and organizers (including our libraries) hope you will participate by borrowing Dreamland, read it, and  hold discussions with your book clubs, friends, family and colleagues.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Listen to an NPR interview about the book and how this drug over-prescription problem became a heroin problem.

A Summer Read is also supported by Capital Blue Cross, WellSpan Health and Penn State Health.


PA Forward: Health Literacy – We envision a Pennsylvania with active citizens able to manage their own and their family’s WELL-BEING, empowered to be EFFECTIVE PARTNERS with their healthcare providers, and living longer, more productive lives.

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