Stories of Survival on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis

Credit Ryan Caron King

Sherwood Taylor is braving recovery after almost 60 years of heroin addiction. Credit Ryan Caron King

States across New England have responded to the region’s opioid epidemic with solutions like expanded access to overdose prevention kits at pharmacies and limitations on pain killer prescriptions. But much of the fight to save lives is taking place after business hours, and in the most directly affected communities. Sherwood Taylor and Mark Jenkins are two Hartford residents directly in the path of the opioid crisis in different ways.

Taylor has been working to overcome heroin addiction after over 50 years as a user. “Whatever I’ve been putting into drugs, I’m putting into life,” Taylor said.

Jenkins delivers care and supplies to Greater Hartford’s most isolated addicts.

“If this were anything else — I mean, look at Ebola. How they sprang to action,” Jenkins said. “Look now at Zika, and how they spring to action — and an open wallet. But still isn’t the case with addiction.”

Visit WNPR’s special projects website for video, photos, and detailed stories about Taylor and Jenkins.