gosh, this makes me SICK. i moved away from the US about 16 years ago, and now, every time i go home i have another friend/acquaintance/family member caught up in this epidemic. it's so widespread, and since i am only back home 1-2 times a year, it's super obvious to see how bad it's gotten and changed (for the worse) over the years. i really believe that so many of the cases we read about here on websleuths involve dealings with shady characters (dealers, buyers, cartels) because of this epidemic. that's just my opinion, and i'm certainly not saying i believe every missing person is a drug addict or is even drug adjacent. of course not. but i have witnessed with my own eyes some really shady dealings in small town america, and it's really scary and heartbreaking how out of control this opioid problem has become. (and that's on top of having to worry about fentanyl). to think that you can be scammed when you are trying to get your life together makes me freaking furious! how disgusting. i believe the opioid epidemic is even bigger than people realize.