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The rise of synthetic drug use is fracturing families and tearing communities apart

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This show originally aired on November 10, 2021.

Synthetic opioid overdoses that mainly involve manufactured fentanyl rose 55.6% in the U.S. between Jan. 2020 and Jan. 2021, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In his new book, journalist and bestselling author Sam Quinones exposes the human toll of illegal synthetic drugs like the deadly opioid fentanyl and a new type of methamphetamine known as P2P, the kingpins and traffickers responsible for making them cheaper and more potent than ever, and how communities are fighting back against the horrors of addiction amid an unprecedented public health crisis in America.

How did fentanyl and meth become the drugs of choice to buy and sell? Why are the two -- one a depressant, the other a stimulant -- now found together more often? Just how dangerous and widely available are these illegal substances?

How has their increased availability and potency impacted individuals, families and communities? How has the addiction epidemic contributed to mental illness and homelessness?

How are corporations intertwined in their production and distribution? Who is profiting from the synthetic-drug gold rush?

What’s being done to combat the worsening addiction and overdose crisis plaguing communities across the country?

Guest: Sam Quinones, journalist and author of "The Least Of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet@TPRSource.*This interview will be recorded on Wednesday, November 10.

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