drug overdoses resulting in death in 2009.

In 2010, there was an average of 67 doses of opiods dispensed for every Ohio resident. Use in southern Ohio has been even higher.

The Buckeye State?

While illicit drug abuse in Ohio continues to increase, nothing compares to the abuse of prescription painkillers. From 1999 to 2009, Ohios death rate due to unintentional drug poisonings increased 335 percent.  The increase in deaths has been driven largely by prescription pain medication overdoses.  Nearly half a million emergency department visits in Ohio in 2009 were due to people misusing or abusing prescription painkillers.

Prescription opioids remain highly available in all regions.  The most popular prescription opioids in Ohio are Percocet and Vicodin.   While OxyContin is one of the most popular opioids, it is much harder to find.  For this reason, Opana has gained in popularity as a substitute for OxyContin®. Often a prescription pill abuser will combine multiple drugs and/or alcohol, which can result in fatal consequences.

While prescription drug abuse has surpassed illicit drug abuse, when not available pill addicts wil turn to heroin, which is why it continues to be quite popular in Ohio.  Heroin is readily available in many parts including Akron-Canton, Athens, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. During this reporting period, heroin availability has continued to increase in all of these regions; an increase in availability also exists for Cleveland, while high availability in Columbus has remained the same. The general sentiment among participants was that heroin is, “falling out of the sky.”


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