A Slice of Cake and a Tip Lead to a Portrait of Addiction in Ohio

New York Times reporter Jack Healy was sitting in a diner in Newtownsville, OH enjoying a piece of German chocolate cake when he received a tip about a father in nearby town who had lost two of his three adult children to opioid overdoses. On Twitter, Healy detailed how he approached the family with only an address in hand that he had looked up on Google. The result of his reporting, “2 of a Farmer’s 3 Children Overdosed. What of the Third—and the Land?” is an incredible portrait of a national addiction on a personal scale.

The younger Mr. Winemiller said that being back in the farmhouse had helped save his life by yanking him away from old patterns and temptations.

He started working on the farm when he was 12, driving tractors even though his father had to attach pieces of wood to the pedals so his legs would reach.

“I want to get back to it. That’s the whole idea,” he said. “It’s in my blood. It’s the family name. I’ve done enough to disgrace our name. I want to do everything I can to mend it.”

Death has pulled the men closer, but at home, arguments erupt over whether each understands what the other is going through. The son says he is grieving just as much as his father. The father says he is in recovery just as much as his son.

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