More and more Americans find themselves in some way touched by the opioid epidemic. But while many have observed the effects of the crisis, Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio is the first book on this public health emergency composed entirely of first-person accounts. Join the book’s editors, Daniel Skinner and Berkeley Franz, as they discuss their experience compiling these stories, how close to home this crisis is, and what we can do in response.
The collection unfolds across fifty gripping accounts by Ohioans at the center of the national epidemic. Shared through personal stories, poetry, interviews, and photos, these perspectives transcend typical one-dimensional portrayals of the crisis to offer a mosaic of how politics, religion, sports, economics, culture, race, and sexual orientation intersect in and around the epidemic. Themes of pain and healing, despair and hope are woven throughout accounts of families who have lost loved ones to addiction, stories of survival, and experiences of working on the front lines in communities. In an attempt to give every voice the chance to be heard, Not Far from Me features contributors from across the state as they engage with the pain of opioid abuse and overdose, as well as the hope that personal- and community-level transformation brings. Ultimately, Not Far from Me humanizes the battle against addiction, challenges the stigma surrounding drug users, and unflinchingly faces the reality of the American opioid epidemic.
Daniel Skinner, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dublin, Ohio.
Berkeley Franz, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Community-Based Health in the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio.