THE HEROIN HEARTLAND: We Have Red Belly Piranhas, and other photos

I’m in Portsmouth, in southern Ohio, a region that has taken a beating from so many corners in the last 30 years.

Farm crisis, factory jobs going overseas, and lately, the hyper-marketing of prescription painkillers, which led to the nation’s first pill mills (unscrupulous docs selling prescriptions like candy for cash).

That led, before many years had passed, to great amounts of addiction to Mexican black-tar heroin delivered by guys from the town of Xalisco, Nayarit — a massive and quiet epidemic, and what the book I’m working on is all about.

The heartland of America — who knew?

This area is showing a few signs of coming back. I just today had conversations with two women today who give me hope. But it’s slow and there’s a long way to go, for having fallen so far.

By the way, the pet store said the people by Red Belly Piranhas to raise in aquariums. They get about as big as a human hand.

 

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