This Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America

By Jack Shuler

This Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the FronThis Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New Americat Lines of a New America
Added January 4, 2021

Every overdose is a policy failure. Such is the guiding element of journalist Jack Shuler's new book, one that explores the current addiction crisis as a human rights problem fostered by poverty and inadequate healthcare. Across Ohio, once thriving communities are suffering under the scourge of opioid addiction. Tainted drug supplies, inadequate civic responses, and prevailing negative opinions about addicts, the poor, and those struggling with mental health issues lead to thousands of preventable deaths each year while politicians are slow to adopt effective policies. Putting themselves at great personal risk (and often breaking the law to do so), the brave men and women profiled in This is Ohio--a coalition of addicts, mothers, and allies--are mounting a grassroots effort to combat ineffective and often incorrect ideas about who addicts are and why they use and instead focus on saving lives through commonsense harm reduction policies.  Opioids are the current face of addiction, but as Shuler shows, the crisis in our midst is one that has long been fostered by income inequality, the loss of manufacturing jobs across the Rust Belt, and lack of access to healthcare. What is playing out in Ohio today isn't only about opioids, but rather a decades-long sociological shift in small towns all across America. It's also about a larger culture of stigma at the heart of how we talk about addiction. What happens in Ohio will have ramifications felt across the nation and for decades to come.

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