More disturbing statistics are emerging from Ohio, which has been hit hard by the prescription drug addiction epidemic — and where there has been an uptick in heroin use, resulting in devastating effects on the children’s population. As this article reports, in Warren County — a primarily white, upscale area — only 6% of the children’s protective services cases in 2008 referred for ongoing services were related to heroin abuse; by 2011, that figure had jumped to 73%, including 106 cases involving 170 children.
In addition, the article says, 33% of Clermont County kids being removed from their parents are because of opiate abuse, while 90% of opiate abuse is heroin; half of the cases Hamilton County Children Services sees are heroin-related; and the number of children being removed from their homes in Butler County because of heroin abuse has doubled since 2010.
And more infants in the area are being born already addicted to opiates: in 2009, 11 of every 1,000 births were drug-exposed; that figure more that tripled by Sept. 30, 2012, when 36 of every 1,000 infants born were drug-exposed, the article notes.
As the Toledo Blade recently reported, Ohio has seen a spike in heroin-related overdose deaths following the prevalence of prescription painkiller abuse throughout the state. As we are seeing elsewhere in the nation, the trend has resulted in a shocking uptick in heroin deaths: in 2010, the paper reported, 14 such deaths occurred in the region, increasing to 31 in 2011, and to 55 last year. As of early February, 14 heroin-related deaths had already been tracked this year by the Lucas County coroner’s office, the paper added.
Statewide, heroin overdose deaths rose from an average of 100 per year between 2000 and 2005 to about 224 per year between 2006 and 2010, the latter accounting for 15% of all overdose deaths.