Opioids and the pandemic: In the midst of isolation, there is hope

Dr. Christine Wilder, an addiction psychiatry specialist with the Ohio Psychiatric Association Gary Kessler

Ohio is on track to have more overdose deaths in 2020 than in 2019. Local courts and organizations are working to help people recover without penalty.

About a year ago, Vanessa Perkins bought a house in Grove City, just southwest of Columbus. The backyard is spacious, and the deck is like a refuge for her. To Perkins, it’s a miracle that she lives here.

Perkins started life broken. She was sexually abused from ages 4-12, and domestic violence was the norm in her home. As a teen, she found relief with alcohol and marijuana.

“With alcohol and weed, I could breathe,” says Perkins. “They were a solution for a problem that I didn’t have a name for. I just knew that when I drank or smoked, I didn’t want to kill myself or anyone else.”