Perspectives

“Not Far from Me” Tells Stories of Addiction from Those Directly Impacted


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We often hear stories about drug addiction and the opioid crisis from physicians, policy makers or people involved with the legal system. However, we rarely hear from people directly impacted by the epidemic.

That’s not the case in the book “Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio” co-edited by Dr. Daniel Skinner and Dr. Berkeley Franz from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University.

They collected some 50 personal stories from people living in 20 Ohio counties. The stories come from those directly affected by the drug and opioid epidemic. It showcases stories from drug abusers, their family members, member of the clergy, health professionals and policy makers.

The stories range from personal narratives to poetry and even photographs.

Although the book focuses on Ohio, the stories are reflective of personal experiences across the nation, Dr. Skinner says.

He believes it is important to hear first-hand from those who are directly involved in the opioid epidemic because it gives different perspectives to the conversations about the drug crisis.

The book is divided into five sections: establishing place, processing loss, making sense, devising solutions and challenging assumptions.

In addition to the book, Dr. Skinner and Dr. Franz have conducted town-hall type meetings in communities around Ohio to hear directly from people about how opioid abuse has affected them and their towns.

“Not Far From Me” is published by the Ohio State University Press. The website for the book and the community meetings is https://notfarfromme.org/