Pill City: How Two Honor Roll Students Foiled the Feds and Built a Drug Empire

288p. appendix. bibliog. glossary. notes. photos. St. Martin's. Jan. 2017. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9781250110039.
In April 2015, Freddie Gray died while in the custody of the Baltimore police, spurring protests witnessed by millions of Americans through television and social media broadcasts. What viewers didn't see was the looting of thousands of opiate pills from pharmaceutical stores. An ingenious distribution scheme that relied on technology to deliver these pills directly to addicts ("an Uber of drug dealing") kicked off a spate of deaths that would extend across the country. The masterminds of "Pill City" were two high school boys. Dubbed "Brick" and "Wax" by author and veteran reporter Deutsch, the teens launched their unorthodox business model out of a desire to make money, like "those white boys in Silicon Valley." Using firsthand accounts from Brick, Wax, gang members, recovered addicts, police detectives, medical personnel, and others, Deutsch skillfully twists together a horrifying narrative. Were this fiction, readers could close the book with a shudder. But Deutsch makes it impossible to forget the people, both living and dead, who bring new urgency to the term opioid epidemic.
VERDICT Recommend to teens interested in true crime, political activism, and the ethical issues surrounding technology.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing