In Ohio, this effort aims to heal the youngest victims of the opioid crisis

Left: Alexa Bihner and her son Ryder, 4, in their home. Photo by Emily Tate

HAMILTON, Ohio — In the living room of his mother’s apartment, a threadbare two-story unit next to the train tracks, Ryder pulls out bulky plastic toys from a bin and wonders aloud about how they work, smiling toothily, mumbling along to “Baby Shark” and occasionally popping another fruit-flavored gummy into his mouth.

Although he maneuvers from one activity to the next with the energy and ease of a typical tyke, Ryder, at age 4, has been exposed to a serious amount of instability and anguish.