Addiction politics: How the opioid crisis is already shaping the 2018 election in Ohio

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Addiction politics: How the opioid crisis is playing out so far in the 2018 election cycle

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The opioid crisis is one of Ohio’s biggest problems. And so, it stands to reason that it’s emerging as one of the state’s biggest political issues as well heading into the 2018 election.

Candidates for statewide office next year already are developing campaign messaging, testing lines of attack and framing policy arguments around the opioid crisis, which is as bad in Ohio as anywhere in the United States.

Ohio Democrats , without much electoral success, . But Republican Sen. Rob Portman in 2016 , and was rewarded with an overwhelming victory.

Politics aside,  in rural, suburban and urban communities alike say measures government officials have taken are helping, but so far haven’t been enough to stem the tide. And, there remains work yet to be done.

is a series examining important national issues through the eyes of people living across the state.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where things are getting better,”, who recently wrapped up trying a wiretapping case against a heroin trafficking ring based in Steubenville, said in a recent interview. “I think we’re at the point where it’s finally reached a national level of consciousness, but I don’t think we’ve reached the point where we’re seeing the decline of the heroin epidemic.”

Here are some ways Ohio Republicans and Democrats are saying they’d tackle the opioid crisis, and ways they are seeking to blame the other side for making it worse. (This list is not exhaustive.)

By Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com

Associated Press, Ted S. Warren



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