The opioid epidemic has been raging across the country for over a decade, and has become an unavoidable part of life in many areas throughout Ohio.
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. The epidemic hasn’t been static. Deaths in Ohio have tripled in the last five years alone according to the Ohio Department of Health, due in part to the recent introduction of potent synthetic opioids like Fentanyl and Carfentanil. Though not nearly as deadly, other drugs like Suboxone, which were supposed to help people kick their habit, are now keeping more people addicted.
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.