Author and Newhouse Professor Cheryl Reed knows all too well how serious the opioid crisis is right here in the United States. As a crime reporter in Chicago, she saw firsthand what drug addiction can do to everyday teenage girls.

Now, more than a decade later she’s detailing her experiences following the lives of young girls into her debut fiction novel “Poison Girls.” The novel not only addresses the opioid crises but also touches on the ways in which girls find themselves as part of a growing statistic.

The novel is based on a real case in Chicago in which a drug dealer was convicted of murder for selling fatal heroin that killed hundreds of people. As a former reporter who followed heroin addicts and dealers on the streets, Reed had a great amount of research to pull from, she said.  And while truth telling was part of Reed’s profession, fiction wasn’t so free flowing at first. Time and effort helped her shape “Poison Girls” into the story it’s become.

While the story is fictional, Reed says it’s a great way for parents, teens and everyone interested in learning more about the opioid crisis can learn about how girls find themselves part of the drug epidemic.

“Poison Girls” debuted in September and is available for sale where books are sold and online on Amazon. To learn more about the story and to connect with Cheryl Reed visit for more information.