The Meridian Community Health Speaker Series will feature award-winning author Sam Quinones on Monday, Sept. 30, for a program aimed at bringing awareness and local solutions to efforts to combat the opiate crisis.
Quinones, a journalist, storyteller, former L.A. Times reporter and the author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” will be speaking 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at the Ross-Ade Stadium.
After Quinones’ talk will be a panel discussion by community leaders, examining the issues and solutions from a local perspective and working to engage the audience discussing issues related to drug addiction, the opioid epidemic and ideas for local solutions, according to a release from Meridian. Panelists will include: Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski; Honorable Kristen McVey, Tippecanoe Superior Court 5; Stafka Poweleit, Meridian Addictions and Recovery Center; John Catron, Innovative Medicine; Jason Huber, Community Corrections; Khala Hochstedler, Tippecanoe Department of Health; Grace Paton, Tippecanoe Department of Health; and moderator Michael Budd, United Way of Greater Lafayette.
Quinones has spent more than three decades immersed in the origins and culture where the opioid creation and use in Mexico originated, before expanding to the United States, according to a release. His firsthand accounts present a foundation for how the opioid epidemic began and grew by way of retailing black tar heroin and addiction through pain medications as a parallel.
His career as a journalist has spanned almost 30 years. After living for 10 years as a freelance writer in Mexico, where he wrote his first two books, Quinones returned to the United States in 2004 to work for The L.A. Times, covering immigration, drug trafficking, neighborhood stories and gangs. In 2014, Quinones resigned from the paper to return to freelance writing, working for National Geographic, Pacific Standard Magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, among other publications.
This is a free event hosted by Meridian Health Services and Meridian’s Addiction and Recovery Center in support with North Central Health Services (NCHS) at River Bend Hospital, United Way of Greater Lafayette, and Greater Lafayette Commerce, and Purdue University Nursing Department. A complimentary luncheon will be provided by Meridian Health Services.