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Ohio, it’s time: “Free the naloxone!”

Ohio has unnecessary laws and regulations limiting naloxone access. These policies have likely contributed to Ohio’s high overdose death rate. It’s time to let properly trained laypersons hand out naloxone. Other states have done this — and it makes a big difference.

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Ohio Department of Health recommends: Provide access to sterile syringes

Most people know the CDC recommends syringe programs to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis. But few realize that the Ohio Department of Health also made a strong recommendation along these lines in October. The Licking County Board of Health vote to outlaw syringe programs is out of step with state and federal health authorities.

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Overdose deaths soar among blacks in Ohio

The rate of black overdose deaths is now nearly identical to that of whites. This epidemic is no longer mostly a white thing. What’s driving the increase in black deaths? Is race playing a role in government’s response to this epidemic vs. crack cocaine in the 1980s?

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Be careful. Be very, very careful.

Art by Hannah Weatherington

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Dennis Cauchon

Dennis Cauchon

President, Harm Reduction Ohio

Dennis is the founder of Harm Reduction Ohio. He created the 501(c)3 non-profit organization to advocate for drug policies that reduce overdose death, imprisonment and other drug war harms.

He is a former national reporter at USA TODAY and Knight Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School. During his 35-year journalism career, he won various awards, including the Champion of Justice award and H.L. Mencken Award for Investigative Journalism for work on the drug war.

“I believe all people, including drug users, should be treated peacefully and with respect,” he says.

Dennis is the father of two boys and lives in Granville, Ohio.

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