Ohio – a place that’s so wonderful and is considered home to many. The state is home to some of the world-class amusement parks. It’s also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and close to the expansive Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Ohio is also home to Cleveland Cavaliers.
The state may not be big, and it may have no coastlines, but it’s one of the most inexpensive places to live. Its tourism business is also doing well. However, underneath all these wonderful things that are happening in Ohio, a drug epidemic is looming and affecting its citizen.
Of the top 10 cities in America that records the highest overdose rates, 3 of these cities came from Ohio. Surprising? Now, let us further discuss the current drug problem in Ohio.
Historically, the state has a steady 20% increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses from 2013 to 2014. Another 20% increase of the same problem from 2014 to 2015.
In 2015, 3,050 Ohio residents died from drug overdoses. Approximately, half of these drug-related deaths were from heroin. This number fo death means that every single day over three people dies from a heroin overdose in Ohio. Of all the fifty states, Ohio accounts for over 10% of daily heroin deaths.
If that isn’t alarming enough, then it is now. As there’s a pattern that’s increasing. In between years 2015 and 2016, overdose deaths rose by 33 percent.
Not only that the drug overdose-related deaths are increasing, but also it has created a mass ripple in the state of Ohio. Morgues are full, emergency services are staggering, and foster care systems are largely in demand. The main reason is that of the prevalent drug use and overdose situation, the foster population of Ohio grew by 10 percent between 2015 and 2016, to 15,000 children.
What are the causes of the increase in the drug overdose rates in Ohio?
There’s a long history that caused the drug overdose rates in Ohio to soar high in numbers. Just like Rome, it wasn’t built in a day. It all started at the height of prescribed painkillers. Doctors during the early 2000’s used to prescribe narcotic painkillers by the millions.
Since treating pain was a criminal offense at that time. Doctors eventually had no choice but to treat pain with drugs that have addictive properties. Drugs like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percocet, and Vicodin were rampant at that time.
The painkillers worked great, but when it was time for weaning, a lot of patients were already addicted to it. By 2010, a push for limiting the number of painkillers was strong. Authorities thought that this would eventually cut off the supply and people won’t get addicted anymore. They did this without realizing that the victims would find supply elsewhere. Yes. They eventually found heroin in the streets. A cheap drug with a fast high.
The dealers then started adding a much stronger opiate, Fentanyl, to their product. After that, there has been an increase in overdose death that continues to soar high up to this date.
This problem won’t just go away because dealers and drug cartels can easily come into the state. Ohio’s crossing interstates and turnpike make it a natural home base for drug cartels to set up their shop.
The main perpetrators of this epidemic are heroin and fentanyl as they are the most popular drugs in Ohio.
What makes heroin and fentanyl the most popular drugs in Ohio?
Ohio ranks fifth on the list of states in the US with the most opioid prescription. Plus, the state is the seventh most populated state. Addicts seem to find ways on how to gain access to drugs. What makes these drugs so addictive? Let us explore the contents of the most popular drugs in Ohio and how they are easily accessed.
1. Prescription Pills
Prescription pills have opioid properties that eventually help patients in managing pain. People who are addicted to this kind of drug gain access by going doctor shopping. The term means that they visit different doctors to gain access to a large volume of drugs.
This is one of the cheapest drugs that can be accessed in the streets. The drug is derived from opioid, commonly used as a recreational drug because of its euphoric effects. Medically, it can be used to relieve pain. Heroin is either injected, usually into a vein. It can also be smoked, snorted or inhaled.
Fentanyl, an opioid pain medication that’s 80-100 times stronger than morphine. This drug is the cause of Prince’s death and 1,115 citizens of Ohio for the year 2016. The drug can be obtained via prescription. However, drug dealers are synthetically reproducing this drug with a spike of heroin on it.
Carfentanil is a large mammal tranquilizer. If you take 2mg of the drug it can knock an African elephant unconscious. The drug can be accessed via a veterinarian. However, just like Fentanyl, drug dealers also reproduce these drugs synthetically.
What is being done to address the current drug problem in Ohio?
Several efforts are being made in the state to address this issue. There have been several laws passed to address the issue. Sober homes are also built, and support systems but seem not enough.
Not unless the government of Ohio strengthen the awareness, lay an iron hand to protect their citizens and strengthen their sober home system then only then it can be minimized. Right now, Ohio is in a state of crisis that needs to be dealt with accordingly.