Heroin Use Increasing Across Ohio

Heroin use has increased so much in Ohio that users say it is “falling out of the sky,” according to a new report by state health officials. Children as young as 13 are starting to use the drug, they said.

Heroin’s popularity is increasing because it is seen as less expensive and easier to obtain than prescription opioids, according to the Associated Press. Many heroin users responding to a state survey said increased demand for the drug was due to the reformulation of OxyContin, which makes it more difficult to abuse.

The report, released by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, said availability of heroin in Cleveland is considered to be at epidemic levels. The survey found an increase in heroin abuse across the state during the previous six months.

The state’s Department of Health reports that heroin-involved deaths increased from 16 percent (233) of all drug overdoses in 2008, to 20 percent (283) in 2009, to a high of 22 percent (338) in 2010.

At the Recovery Center in Lancaster, Ohio, an area considered to be the “hotspot” for heroin use in the state, most of the 360 patients are addicted to painkillers or heroin, according to CEO Trisha Saunders. She told the AP that most patients who are addicted to heroin started with painkillers. “They say, `I never thought I’d switch from taking a pill to putting a needle in my arm,'” Saunders said.

The Department of Justice 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment found increased heroin-related overdoses have been reported in cities in at least 30 states.

The report notes, “New users frequently overdose because they are unfamiliar with their tolerance levels; users resuming heroin use after prolonged absences often restart at their prior dosage level, even though their tolerance may have declined in the interim.”

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    Belinda Gurganus

    February 7, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    My mother suffers terrible pain from a car wreck about 16 years ago. Prior to moving here from Alabama her pain was somewhat controlled with medication. Medication she never misused or abused. She moved here and her medication was cut down to less than 1\16th what she had taken for 16 years. She lives in horrible pain. Her health had suffered badly. Her blood pressure is put of control. Her life is hell. Opiate addiction is a problem but making people suffer is not the answer. There is no cure for her. Her leg and back continue to only deteriorate. She spends most days suffering in bed. Sadly addicts will get their fix illegally and more dangerously via heroin while people like my mom suffer?

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    sue

    August 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Why nother make rehab cheaper. These young people do have thousands of dollars

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    Donald

    February 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    I’M NOT SURE WHAT’S GOING ON? I think because of the prescription drug problem that reportedly started all of this,I had to suffer months of awful pain from a torn rotator cuff. I believe my doctor was reluctant to prescribe me the pain killers I needed to get thru the healing process. I could not afford to have the surgery due to economic reasons. NOT EVERONE ABUSES PRESCIBED DRUGS! Very bitter patient.

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    Tim

    November 21, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    People are not going to stop using this drug. Why not make it less dangerous to overdose by educating the public regarding purities and proper dosages? There is no need for cooking it in a spoon then injecting with a used syringe. If this drug was cleaned up and delivered orally more like a pharmaceutical grade drug using a number to measure a known dosage, there would be a lot less overdoses and deaths.

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