This Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America

Jack Shuler

Counterpoint, 2020

Agent: Elise Capron


Library Journal "Most Anticipated Books of 2020"

"With the opioid epidemic raging rampant in Ohio, Shuler gets into the nitty-gritty of the crisis . . . An insightful look at how issues in Ohio affect the rest of the country." --Laura Hanrahan, Cosmopolitan, A Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

"A book that sets itself apart from the pack with a focus on both harm reduction and the larger economic factors that Shuler argues comprise crucial yet oft-overlooked context . . . Shuler holds readers’ interest with a colorful cast of activists who are on the ground in Ohio today, pushing back against the fentanyl-driven overdose crisis and the wider drug war . . . In the sort of middle-America town where news reports too often only focus on the bodies, Shuler has found a gang of heroes who have taken matters into their own hands." ––Travis Lupick, Filter Magazine

"Jack Shuler’s new book reveals courageous men and women combating the overdose crisis in Newark, Ohio, and makes a case for progressive harm reduction policies . . . This is Ohio isn’t a depressing book. It’s a portrait of men and women who, instead of waiting for seats at the table, made their own tables and pulled up their own chairs and began working for change." --Joel Oliphint, Columbus Alive

"This impressively researched and deeply felt account does a devastating job of personalizing the failures of U.S. drug policy." --Publishers Weekly

"Another alarming report from the front lines of the opioid epidemic . . . This book should be shelved next to Beth Macy’s Dopesick and Sam Quinones’ Dreamland . . . Full of grim yet important statistics and vignettes as well as a few sensible solutions."––Kirkus Reviews

"[A] profoundly humanizing investigation . . . The commitment, tenacity, and empathy of the users, activists, and advocates Shuler meets is a stark corrective to the disdain and dehumanization typical of policy and practice in this area. The title forcefully claims this story for Ohio, a statistical center, but addiction reaches all places, and this book is strongly recommended for readers anywhere who are interested in systemic change and the power of the grassroots." --Library Journal

“Jack Shuler takes us to the heart of America’s overdose crisis with clear-eyed storytelling and empathic warmth for the ordinary Americans fighting against the economic and cultural abandonment that have left too many behind, or locked up. A wrenching but life-affirming book.” --Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black

“A riveting and disturbing look at America, but altogether necessary. This is a much-needed examination of a crisis and decline that has gone on far too long without reckoning. An absolute must-read.” --Jared Yates Sexton, author of American Rule

This Is Ohio is such a good book because Jack Shuler listens so well. With clarity and heart, he tells an empowering story about the nation’s overdose crisis in the voices of the women and men who are facing it head-on. These are voices calling not just for attention but for action, and they are offering solutions that come from hard-won experience. Shuler asks us to listen, just as he did. It’s the least we can do.” --Peter Slevin, author of Michelle Obama: A Life

"Careful. Vivid. Empathic. Jack Shuler's This Is Ohio will challenge many readers’ assumptions about addiction, poverty, and the overdose crisis in not just Ohio, but across America. Much ink has been spilled investigating Big Pharma and how their greed sparked an epidemic of addiction. But This Is Ohio makes the uncomfortable argument that the crisis facing communities has roots that run far deeper than one industry's wanton greed and corruption. Shuler's book shows that addressing the opioid crisis also means addressing the economy, health care, inequality, and stigma. It means restoring the meaning of community and strengthening social bonds that not only keep us alive, but make our lives worth living.” --Zachary Siegel, journalist and co-host of Narcotica