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.”