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Opiate epidemic exacts deadly toll across Ohio

Time to find, enact remedies is now

February 15, 2014
by Jeff Gerritt
Toledo Blade

I saw him for the last time the day after he was released from rehab, waiting at a bus depot, on his way to his sister’s house in North Carolina. I hope he made it.

In Ohio today, opiate abuse is an even bigger problem than it was in Michigan a decade ago. Ohio has the nation’s 12th highest drug overdose mortality rate, with 16 people per 100,000 dying of overdoses every year, according to a report by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health.

Drug abuse often breeds social hysteria. We don’t want to start a witch hunt against prescription painkillers, which have promoted treatment and alleviated a lot of unnecessary suffering for many people, including cancer patients.

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