“The police were disbanded years ago. The mayor recently got a death threat and fled in the governor’s helicopter … But it’s when Highway 51 drops down from the rolling hills, and runs west in two lonely lanes across the scorched valley floor, that danger really starts to poison people’s lives. Drug bosses known as ‘the Tequila Man’ and ‘the Fish’ rule like feudal lords, at war with each other and the vigilante groups that have risen against them. Residents get kidnapped in groups. Tortured corpses are discarded in the valley, left to sear on hot pavement.” The heroin habit is devastating parts of the US. But it’s also created a hellish environment in some towns in Mexico, the country that provides 90% of our fix. From WaPo: In Mexico, The Price of America’s Hunger For Heroin.

+ “At this stage of the American opioid epidemic, many addicts are collapsing in public — in gas stations, in restaurant bathrooms, in the aisles of big-box stores.” And that could be by design. Addicts need to use, but they don’t want to die. From The New Yorker: The Addicts Next Door.

+ Ohio sues five drug companies over opioid crisis.