Tag Archives: Ohio

Ohio’s pill epidemic fuels heroin abuse

Prescription drug abuse in Ohio has reached epidemic levels, and that is driving many painkiller addicts to make the switch to heroin because it is cheaper and readily available, according to a recent report by the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network. Many heroin users started using the hardcore street drug at around 18 years old after getting hooked on prescription opioids at as young as 12, the report says. Heroin is being pushed aggressively by dealers and is so prevalent that it is “falling out of the sky,” according to the report. Moreover, prescription painkillers like Opana and Roxicodone are gaining in popularity in light of the reformulation of OxyContin.

The report also includes participant comments that reveal the growing scope of the pills-to-heroin phenomenon in the state:

“[Heroin] is as common as going down the street and buying a six-pack of beer. I’m so glad I found heroin. It’s cheaper and easier to find than crack; it’s easier [to obtain] than oxys. You run out of oxys, but never heroin … it’s always around.”

“Ever since the oxy revolution, once they realize what oxy is, synthetic heroin, people find heroin is cheaper.”

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In Ohio, pills and heroin prompt action

In Ohio, where prescription drug addiction has a strong foothold, state officials are planning to unveil a new protocol in order to treat opiate addiction. The number of people overdosing on heroin and OxyContin has reached epidemic levels. Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services recently launched a new campaign, Don’t Get Me Started, designed to educate young adults about prescription opiate abuse and addiction.

According to the campaign’s website, 27% of the state’s high school students use illegal prescription drugs, and there has been a 335% increase in Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug poisonings. Ohio is also ranked third in the nation for pharmacy-related robberies.

The site also has a series of powerful videos with personal stories of how painkiller addiction has affected the lives of Ohio residents.

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