Guest column/We can’t take our eyes off addiction crisis


As the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the world, it seems as though every aspect of life before this crisis has been put on hold. Schools are closed, church pews are empty, and businesses have shuttered. Yet even in this unprecedented time, we cannot forget about the many concerns we had before the pandemic.

For more than 25 years, I have focused on addressing and combating the drug addiction issues — including the opioid epidemic that has gripped countless communities in Ohio and elsewhere during the past 10 years. In recent years, I have been encouraged by the progress we have made in turning the tide on this disease, especially with regard to opioids like heroin and painkillers. In 2017, Ohio’s opioid overdose death rate was almost three times the national average, with nearly a dozen Ohioans dying from these dangerous drugs every day, surpassing car crashes as our state’s No. 1 killer.