To passing eyes, the town of Puyallup where Tomi Cook spent her high school years looks the perfect picture of Seattle suburbia. Quiet cookie-cutter houses, rows of shopping centers, happy upper-middle-class families going about their happy lives. She doubts anyone would have suspected that pills were tearing through her community.
For Cook it started with “baby blues,” those 30-milligram Percocets she and her classmates would grind up and snort. Then she learned how to rub the time-release coating off OxyContin pills and, as her tolerance grew, how to boil the pills down and put them in a needle. It felt to Cook as though her entire graduating class was using and abusing prescription pills, an epidemic parents seemed to keep hush-hush. Before long, she turned to heroin.