Did You Know?
Ohio averages 23 heroin deaths every week. Ohio also loses an average of 38 people every week due to opioid overdose. Put another way, Ohio loses nearly 7 people every day due to heroin and opioid-related deaths.
Drug overdoses in Ohio have increased 419 percent in 10 years, from 296 to 1539.
In Franklin County this year, the average age of those who died from a heroin overdose is 39 years old.
The number of children services cases in Ohio opened because of heroin abuse has increased 83 percent between 2010 and 2013. In 2010, 9 percent of all Franklin County foster care cases were parents who were dealing with drug abuse issues. In 2014, that number had risen to 13 percent.
The number of women in jails across the Ohio has increased nearly 50 percent between 2013 and 2014, with many sheriffs attributing the rise to heroin.
The number of drug-dependent babies admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospitals has increased 590% from 2005 – 2014. In 2014, there were 214 drug-addicted babies admitted locally.
Doctors dispensed more than 750,630,661 doses of opioids in 2014. Abuse of opioids is considered by many to be a precursor to heroin use.
Ohio patients who were prescribed opioids received on average 143 doses of the drug for a three-month period.
Opioids are being dispensed at such a rate in Ohio that if spread out across the state each Ohioan would have been prescribed about 5 pills every month this year.
Of all the heroin deaths in the United States in 2017, 1 out of every 9 occurred in Ohio. Additionally, 1 out of every 14 deaths due to synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) also took place in the state. In 2015, overdose deaths totaled 3,050. Ohio clearly has an epidemic on its hands which may surprise the general public, but law enforcement officers in the state are all too familiar with the impact of such drugs.
Opiates are drugs created from opium, including heroin. Opioids are synthetically manufactured to replicate the chemical structure of opiates, such as painkillers like Vicodin and Norco. Opioids are often prescribed after surgery or other medical procedures. Abuse of these medications can lead or transfer into opiate addiction.
The “best” part of an opiate or opioid high, though, is the euphoria they produce. They cause a blissful state of carefree calm, which is the main reason people use them. The “nod” (nodding off) caused by opiates is when the head droops and the user slips into a dreamlike state of relaxation.
Although there is a long way to go before the heroin and fentanyl epidemic in Ohio is over, it is reassuring to know that active measures are being taken. You can help by keeping an eye on loved ones and looking for signs of heroin or fentanyl use. Maintain open communication with your children and ensure they are aware of the risks involved with drug use. If a loved one is struggling with an addiction, helping them find treatment can save their life.
Comparatively, almost 35,000 people nationwide died of opioid-related overdoses in 2016. While the nationwide scourge is rages, clearly the problem is magnified in Ohio specifically. Opiates in general are incredibly popular drugs throughout the United States, with 669,000 people reporting recent use in 2012.