TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The new book "American Cartel" is about the opioid industry, the manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies behind the opioid epidemic. It's also about their lobbyists and lawyers, many of whom had close ties to members of Congress and high-ranking officials inside the Justice Department. Some DEA agents left the agency to take high-salaried positions with law firms representing drug companies. The book is also about an unprecedented lawsuit launched in 2018 by a coalition of lawyers and investigators on behalf of thousands of counties, cities and Native American tribes across America.