An increase in heroin use in Ohio in the past six months is due partly to the rise in addiction to opioid medication, according to a new report by the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services. The report says that people who become addicted to opioids may turn to heroin when they can no longer afford the pills.
It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this that we have a prescription drug problem in the United States. As I see it, however, we are not devoting our attention to the real root of the problem.
All of us who are passionate about reducing drug abuse cannot ignore the growing dangers of prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens and young adults. By preventing drug abuse where it starts, we can make a tremendous difference in the life of our nation: one community, one family and one child at a time.
To reduce prescription drug abuse among seniors, SAMHSA is expanding a grant program targeting adults 60 and older who are at risk for or experiencing behavioral health problems. The grant also aims to reduce suicides among this group.
An estimated 27,500 people died in 2007 from unintentional drug overdoses, many of them involving prescription opioids, according to a report that recommends doctors try other pain control options before prescribing opioid medications.
As part of the new government plan to reduce prescription drug abuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking manufacturers of prescription painkillers to create materials for consumers about how to safely use and dispose of opioids.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing national epidemic. In a recent presentation, Dr. Leonard Paulozzi of the CDC reported that the number of unintentional overdose deaths per year involving opioid pain relievers nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2007, rising from 2,900 to 11,500.
Fatal overdoses of prescription drugs are having a devastating effect in Ohio, The New York Times reports. In the last decade, fatal overdoses have more than quadrupled and are now more common than car crashes as a cause of accidental death in the state.
Ohio Governor John R. Kasich has announced $36 million in new drug treatment and work readiness funds. The funds are designed to help people addicted to prescription drugs get treatment so they can go back to work.