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

Jack Shuler. Counterpoint, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-6400-9355-3
Journalist Shuler (The Thirteenth Turn) offers a harrowing look at the opioid epidemic in the Rust Belt community of Licking County, Ohio. Writing with great empathy, he documents the daily lives of opioid addicts, as well as the work of community activists struggling to reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of hepatitis and other ill effects of drug abuse through harm reduction initiatives. Shuler categorizes the opioid epidemic as a human rights problem, describes the “war on drugs” as a grievous mistake, and focuses more on identifying the systemic causes of addiction—including income inequality, unemployment, and inadequate medical care—than exposing the role of overprescribing doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Despite the grim nature of the topic, he offers a dash of hope and inspiration in profiles of grassroots efforts to repair the social fabric of Licking County, and in his own willingness to get involved by taking addicts to meetings, visiting homeless camps, and learning how to administer anti-overdose medication. This impressively researched and deeply felt account does a devastating job of personalizing the failures of U.S. drug policy. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/04/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-64009-356-0
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