Sam Quinones, a journalist who's dug deep into the evolution of the opioid and meth crisis plaguing the U.S., says Monroe County is in a position to do something about it.

At the same time community leaders are planning a new jail and figuring out how to best house and help people who get arrested, Bloomington is awash in a methamphetamine epidemic.

Quinones' 2015 best-selling book, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic," illuminated the opioid crisis that wiped out thousands of lives.

More:County's 'largest mental health facility' is the jail. Everyone agrees there's a better way to provide treatment.

In 2021, he documented and explained the nation's latest drug epidemic in "The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth."

The book describes a nationwide crisis in cities and towns such as Bloomington. The city's struggle with meth-related crime is noted in the book, as is Monroe Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff's drug court, where participants work to get beyond drugs and rebuild their lives.

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