Advance Praise

“There’s not a community in our state that hasn’t been affected by opioid addiction, and it’s so important to hear the voices of the families who are being torn apart. These stories are a powerful call to action for us to work together to fight this public health crisis.”

—Senator Sherrod Brown

“These powerful stories will increase awareness, reduce the stigma, and help us better understand the complex issue of addiction so we can turn the tide of this epidemic and save lives.”

—Senator Rob Portman

“As a journalist and storyteller, I'm convinced that only through stories of real people will the stigma surrounding addiction fade. Which is what makes projects like Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio so important and worth reading. We hear from them all: doctors, addicts, poets, mothers, librarians, nurses, pastors, inmates and football coaches. Even though this volume is about one state, and only a few people from that state, together they tell one of the crucial stories of America today.”

—Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland

“This important collection of responses to Ohio's opioid crisis takes us through the grief-work of teachers, poets, coaches, clergy, families, physicians and the addicted, showing us, on their own terms, what it is like to live in a burdened place. The consequences of the moral lapses of the pharmaceutical, policies that criminalized drug users, and politics that determine who should or should not be saved are seen here not through statistics but as forces that have shaped living communities and people who deserve a better world. These responses are a necessary antidote to the dehumanizing lens that has settled on our conversations about addiction and recovery.”

—Elizabeth Catte, author of What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia

“So much has been written, so much news reported, so many hands have been wrung in response to Ohio’s – and the nation’s – collective dope sickness. Too often, though, the voices of those affected have been lost in the din. Those voices are important, not only for helping understand the epidemic, but also the culture and communities where that epidemic has taken hold.  Not Far from Me helps redress this loss by allowing Buckeyes to tell their own stories in their own ways. I loved hearing those voices in all their tear-inducing, maddening, uplifting, defiant bravery.”

—Brian Alexander, author of Glass House

“Every Ohioan should read Not Far From Me. Statistics might help us cope objectively with the opioid crisis, but numbers make it too easy to forget that people are suffering. To heal and be healthy, we need the empathy and insight that literature can provide. Written by addicts, families, first responders, and civic leaders, Not Far From Me captures the human story of addiction and the ways in which communities are struggling to find hope and preserve lives.”

—Pat Williamsen, Executive Director, The Ohio Humanities Council