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Fighting our community’s opioid epidemic through reading and discussion

Book Club to explore Dreamland: The True Story of America's Opiate Epidemic
Sep 11, 2017

Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic will be in the Athens area this October 11-13 to discuss his book and the opioid epidemic facing our country today, For those who want to prepare for the event, a book club is available to join. Guided by Alden Library’s Subject Librarian for Health Sciences Hanna Schmillen, discussion and reading will begin each Tuesday evening starting Sept. 12 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. 

Several CHSP faculty members reached out to Schmillen about the book club collaboration, which has relevance to the Athens area. It is sure to open the eyes of others to understand their community through the lens of the prevalent issue of opioid addiction.

“Everything is connected, from healthcare to our culture, economics, and geography…and as soon as more people realize that, perhaps we can work on preventing other, similar situations that will come our way,” said Schmillen. “Perhaps more realistically, as a community, we can understand the situation better and in doing so we can come to more realistic and effective solutions to our community’s opioid problem.”

The book club is open to anyone and Schmillen is looking forward to hearing diverse perspectives that will be highlighted throughout the series. She is currently reading the book, crafting discussion questions, and finding herself getting increasingly excited about sparking a unique conversation with others who read the book. 

Discussing this book will not only unite community members, but will also encourage reflection on the history of pharmaceuticals, how that has influenced the opioid epidemic today, and the fake news ‘epidemic’. The book’s style is entertaining in the sense that Quinones jumps from one episode involving true-life characters to another as the storyline progresses.

The book club will revolve around discussion, questions, and other active-learning methods that will boost understanding and overall learning about the Athens community.

“This book is written so well and is incredibly relevant to what we see in Southeast Ohio today. Regardless of whether participants are new to the area or have lived here their whole lives, this book will resonate,” said Schmillen.

 “There is a lot to be said about a nonfiction book that can make such an impact on such a variety of people, backgrounds, fields, and interests.”

View the schedule for the Dreamland book club here. For more information, contact Hanna Schmillen via email at schmille@ohio.edu  or call 740.593.0326.