The opioid epidemic has been raging across the country for over a decade, and opioid-related overdose deaths in Ohio have tripled in the last five years alone, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The epidemic began when doctors started over-prescribing strong painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, and soon when patients couldn’t get their fix through a prescription many found a cheaper solution in heroin. This epidemic hasn’t been static. Deaths have increased drastically with the recent introduction of synthetic opioids like Fentanyl and Carfentanil, and many people are now addicted to drugs like Suboxone that were supposed to help them kick their habit.
The scope of the opioid epidemic is enormous, and there is virtually no sector of society that has been left untouched. Those suffering from addiction, their families, first responders, law enforcement, and many others deal with this national problem on a personal basis every day. These are their stories.