A recent study found what we already knew, overdose death increases when incarceration increases. Yet, nearly 1 out of 10 bills introduced by Ohio legislators would increase incarceration by either creating a new crime or expanding sentences. If we are serious about ending the overdose crisis in Ohio we must reduce incarceration and criminalization while simultaneously ensuring that people have access to the evidence-based tools they need to survive.
If we do not change course now, we will continue to lose thousands of Ohioans each year to preventable death and incarceration.
We know the tools that we need to respond;
we simply need elected officials to listen and act.
When we decrease policing, criminalization, and incarceration and we invest more deeply in housing, health care, child care, living wages, and support services, individuals and communities thrive.
These support services must include community-based syringe service programs, naloxone distribution, drug checking resources, medication for opiate use disorder, and peer-to-peer harm reduction support.
For the past three years, the team behind HEAL Ohio has been building relationships with criminal justice organizers, harm reduction leaders, and clergy across the state. These relationships build unexpected coalitions and power to advocate for necessary change in drug policy and criminal justice reform.
Together we are fighting
to survive the drug war...
so we can end the drug war.