Faculty members to lead discussion on heroin epidemic Sept. 29

Michael Clune
Michael Clune

Michael W. Clune, associate professor of English, and Lee Hoffer, associate professor of anthropology, will lead a discussion titled “The New Heroin Epidemic” on Monday, Sept. 29, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. in Clark Hall, room 309.

From Rolling Stone to The Christian Science Monitor; WKYC Cleveland to CWRU’s The Observer, news sources report that heroin has become more common and a major killer. Actors Cory Monteith and Philip Seymour Hoffman are highly publicized “sentinel” cases, but overdoses killed 195 people in Cuyahoga County in 2013—up from 40 in 2007, and this number is greater than the deaths from homicide or vehicle accidents.

Lee Hoffer

Hoffer and Clune will lead a broad discussion of the puzzles and issues raised by heroin’s presence in modern life. Hoffer studies the social world of illicit drug use and has published a book, Junkie Business: The Evolution and Operation of a Heroin Dealing Network, on the topic. Clune’s memoir of his own addiction, White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin, was chosen as one of the best books of 2013 by The New Yorker and NPR’s On Point.