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Aid must go to all in need

The opioid crisis that began to take hold in Ohio more than a quarter-century ago won’t be over soon.

(…) This highlights how important it is for Gov. Mike DeWine and state Attorney General Dave Yost to seal a deal with city attorneys, county prosecutors and their outside lawyers on how to share in an eventual settlement with the makers and distributors of the drugs that kickstarted the catastrophe.

The sooner the state and local governments can present a unified front in litigation, the sooner settlement money can begin flowing to pay for addiction treatment and prevention; help foster parents and children services agencies caring for the tens of thousands of children effectively orphaned by their parents’ addiction; cover increased police, emergency and health care costs and many other costs than even can be reckoned.

The greatest cost, of course, is incalculable: the loss of thousands of lives every year to overdose; the lost potential for thousands more who struggle with addiction; and the heartbreak of loved ones who live with the wreckage.

(…) Ohio has a long way to go to reach real recovery — if indeed addiction levels ever can return to what they were before the advent of OxyContin and all that followed. What is certain is that those who set the match to this inferno should be held responsible for putting it out, and the recompense should be distributed fairly according to need.

— The Columbus Dispatch