News Article

Opioid Epidemic Cannot Be Fought Through War on Drugs

Friday, February 16, 2018

by THe Oberlin Review

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a piece for The Oberlin Review about the opioid epidemic, specifically in Ohio, and what could be done about it. Since then, there has been no significant reduction in opioid-related deaths in the state or in the nation. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s drug overdose rate increased to 39 percent from mid-2016 to mid-2017; the national average is 13.3 percent.

Ohio’s 2017 opioid-related data looks bleak. The state had the third most opioid-related overdoses and the third highest overdose rate increase out of any other state in 2017, totaling 5,200 deaths. Montgomery County in southern Ohio reached 800 overdose deaths in 2017 and had to expand its morgue to accommodate the drastic increase. Out of the 4,329 overdose-related deaths in Ohio in 2017, 83 percent were due to opioid overdoses.