What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words, heroin crisis? We bet it’s not the quiet, suburban neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio but for the last five years, this is exactly where a silent epidemic has been brewing. “This is the worst drug epidemic I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Mike DeWine, attorney general of Ohio. “It’s in every single county. It’s in our cities but it’s also in our wealthier suburbs. It’s in our small towns. There is no place in Ohio where you can hide from it.”
What was once stigmatized for being a back-alley inner-city drug that affected a small population, has now taken hold of suburban and rural areas across the nation, with a particular emphasis on the Northeastern states. Ohio is facing a 413% increase in overdose deaths that has left residents thinking, why did this happen?
Why is Ohio Struggling With Heroin?
There are many factors involved that contribute to the surge in heroin use and overdose deaths in Ohio. One is the changes in clinical pain management guidelines that were made in the late 1990’s, ie. the over prescribing of pain medications by doctors. 81% of first time heroin users got hooked on opiates after being prescribed medication for routine pain management. Doctors prescribe pain medications like Oxycontin, people get hooked, and when they can no longer sustain the cost of prescription medications, they make the switch over to the much cheaper and highly available heroin.
What is Being Done About the Heroin Crisis in Ohio?
Very recently, Gov. John R. Kasich announced a plan of attack to manage and fight opiate abuse in the state of Ohio. He called it the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team (GCOAT) and it began launching in 2011 through 2013 with a five part initiative to combat the epidemic on both the state and local levels. Many of the initiatives haven’t been in action long enough to report any solid results but in time the state is hopeful to see some improvement in a few more years. They include:
- Cracking down on illegal pill mills and trafficking
- Start Talking! – a statewide initiative consisting of proven prevention strategies to promote conversations between kids and their parents.
- Encouraging the appropriate use and availability of pain medication
- Expanding access to Naxalone
- Increasing access to treatment and recovery resources
If you or a loved one is ready to conquer an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. Whether you live in Ohio or elsewhere, recoveryas.com can give you or your loved one the resources necessary to make a turnaround into lifelong sobriety. Call 1 (877) 968-6283 and we will locate a facility offering the recovery treatments you need, all at no charge to you.