Bestselling author to speak at Recovery Works

SOUTH SHORE Bestselling author Sam Quinones said he based his most recent book’s title after Dreamland swimming pool that once rested in Portsmouth.

The book, however, has nothing to with historic summer attractions. Instead, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” dives into the prescription drug and black tar heroin outbreak that has touched many areas across the country, including Portsmouth.

On Oct. 3 he will speak at Recovery Works in South Shore from 4 to 6 p.m. The recovery center is located in the original home of Dr. David Proctor, who was arrested for his notorious pill mill that jumpstarted similar operations throughout the region.

The center opened its doors in August to those suffering addiction where they are treated through residential, outpatient and transitional living programs and facilities.

Quinones, a previous immigration and gang reporter for the LA Times, said he first visited Portsmouth with the intention for staying a few days to write about the drug issues. Instead, he ended up returning for multiple weeks where he sought out an additional angle once he began to know the citizens of the town.

“[It] was about people beginning to wade from the narcotic fog and beginning to create new lives for themselves that don’t involve pills,” he said.

He explained that the entire town has been “lost and torn away,” including the Dreamland swimming pool that was conveyed to the City of Kenova in 1973. Despite the circumstances, Quinones said this has left the town feeling vulnerable and has created a sense that they are all in the fight together to rise above the devastation.

On Oct. 3 he will voice his thoughts on how the community can rally to combat the epidemic and will be joined by key officials.

Recovery Works is located at 4632 State Rd.