Drugs are killing Americans in record numbers, but not everyone is being hit equally hard. Police and public-health workers battling the problem near Interstate Highway I-65—which runs south-to-north through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana—are at its front lines. The highway is a supply line favored by Mexican cartels flooding Appalachia and the Midwest.
Helen Potts, a young woman of wealth and privilege overdosed on morphine and died in 1890 while attending a prestigious finishing school. Her husband, Carlyle Harris, a med student whom she had married in secret, had prescribed her some pills containing the drug. But the pills contained enough morphine to kill a person—and Harris knew it.