Opioids have overwhelmed rural Illinois. Desperate, the cops in Ronald Reagan’s hometown have stopped arresting people and started getting them help. In an exclusive series, The Well News looks at “Safe Passage,” a program that radically rethinks America’s War on Drugs.
Most epidemics start with a patient zero. Here in northwest Illinois, the opioid epidemic features a doctor zero.
For a long time, the police of Ronald Reagan’s hometown did their best to arrest their way out of their drug problem. It became a war of attrition — and the opioids won.