Ground Zero: Beyond The Overdose Epidemic (in-progress)

In 2021, fentanyl was the No. 1 cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, but since 2010, Ohio’s overdose rate has been above average compared to the United States.

Within the numbers and statistics of the overdose epidemic are the voices of real people and communities affected by the crisis daily. From the heart of Portsmouth, Ohio, the Ohio River city that’s widely considered America’s ‘opioid ground zero,’ and beyond to both urban and rural areas across Ohio including Youngstown, Cincinnati, and Newark, the voices of those very people are featured in this photographic essay. 

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