Ohio Heroin Abuse Worse, First-Time Users Younger
Mar 27, 2012
Heroin is so prevalent in Ohio, it is "falling out of the sky," according to new state data that finds children as young as 13 are now starting on the drug. Regions across the state saw increases in heroin abuse during the past six months, with availability in Cleveland considered at epidemic levels, according to a report released this month by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. A separate report released this month by the Ohio Department of Health cited 338 heroin-involved deaths in 2010, or one in every five drug overdose deaths in the state. Ohio’s "hotspot" for heroin abuse is Lancaster, according to the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.
The main reason for the increase in heroin usage, according to the report, is that people addicted to painkillers “realize that heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain.” Ohio has struggled with soaring rates of addiction to prescription painkillers, with a record number of fatal overdoses in 2010. “They say, `I never thought I'd switch from taking a pill to putting a needle in my arm,'" explains Recovery Center CEO Trisha Saunders. The report also says recent changes to the painkiller OxyContin® meant to reduce its abuse have also turned painkiller addicts to heroin. Heroin remains highly available in all regions, according to the report.
Learn More: Heroin
Return to view all news
San Francisco Chronicle