The City of Cleveland is a major city in Ohio that currently has just over 385,000 residents. It has historically been a major industrial center, although since the 1970s this has declined somewhat. Since the early 2000s and the emergence of the opioid epidemic, Cleveland has been hit extremely hard, with opioid use rates skyrocketing compared with other parts of the country. While the drug problem may be severe, there is also help available at a drug and alcohol rehab in Cleveland if someone is ready to change their life.

Substance Abuse In Cleveland

As of 2019, the most commonly abused substances in Cleveland, Ohio included alcohol, marijuana, crack, heroin, benzodiazepines, cocaine, crystal meth, and prescription opioids. As with several other states in the Northeast, Ohio has seen consistently high levels of heroin and fentanyl which has lead to large numbers of opioid overdoses and deaths. According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, since 2018 Ohio has reported the highest numbers of fentanyl-positive drug tests out of any other state in the country, many of them in the Cleveland area. In particular, fentanyl and its analogs acetyl-fentanyl, carfentanil, cyclopropyl-fentanyl, methoxyacetyl-fentanyl, methyl-fentanyl, valeryl-fentanyl, and the fentanyl precursor compound ANPP (4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine).

The increase of fentanyl in Cleveland has led to steadily increasing numbers of overdoses, particularly over the last decade. For example, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, between 2015 and 2018 there was an over 400% increase in the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Cleveland alone, with 97 overdose deaths in 2015 and 411 overdose deaths in 2018. Additionally, cocaine overdoses have been on the rise in Cleveland as well, as total overdose deaths climbed from 115 in 2015 to 364 in 2018. The rise in cocaine overdoses can be largely attributed to the presence of cutting agents, such as fentanyl or fentanyl analogs that have been used more frequently since 2015 onwards. This is used as a cutting agent since it is both cheap and very addictive, although a consequence is that it dramatically increases the risk of dangerous complications when mixed with a stimulant like cocaine or crystal meth.

The City of Cleveland is also a major drug trafficking hub for the entire Northeast United States. With its location on Lake Erie, it is a short boat ride from Canada and there are several major interstates that pass through Cleveland, making it an attractive point of entry for drug trafficking groups. As drug make their way into Cleveland, they are often dispatched for further distribution via interstates such as I-90, I-80, I-77, and I-71. While in the city, drugs are inevitably diverted for local distribution as well. The proximity to Canada and major port cities on the East coast, combined with the large number of interstates that pass through or near Cleveland mean that there is a constant, heavy supply of drugs moving through the city and, subsequently, available for use.

 

Cleveland’s Response To Substance Abuse

While the drug problem has hit Cleveland much harder than other cities throughout Ohio and the country at large, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have been quite proactive in their response to this issue. This includes steps taken by the government, community organizations, and non-profit organizations in the city that are aimed at reducing the harm caused by drugs in the city, and the death toll they have produced. Aside from public-sector responses to the drug problem, there has been a significant private-sector response, as there are several reliable drug and alcohol detox and rehab centers in Cleveland. There are also organizations that aim to address issues that are secondary to drug use itself, namely the health conditions that commonly arise from IV drug use such as HIV/AIDS. 

Just a few of these helpful organizations and programs include:

  • ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County: The Alcohol, Drug Addiction, & Mental Health Services board works to provide helpful resources for people struggling with addiction or mental health issues in Cuyahoga County and throughout Cleveland.
  • State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy: This government site provides a directory of pharmacies that dispense naloxone without a prescription throughout Ohio that is searchable by county. There are over 200 listings in Cuyahoga county alone!
  • Frontline Service: A community crisis center that provides help to people struggling with homelessness, behavioral health crises, and struggling with drug addiction.
    • Frontline Service 24-Hour Crisis Line: 216-623-6888
  • Project DAWN: An acronym for “Deaths Avoided With Naloxone”, this program aims to educate and to inform people on how to use naloxone, and also providing naloxone kits to use in the event of an overdose. They have 3 locations across the City of Cleveland.
  • NEXT Distro – Ohio: An overdose prevention organization, they have naloxone training programs and can even have naloxone mailed to your home. They also have a Harm Reduction Ohio page that can help someone find naloxone.
  • The Network for Public Health Law: This document provides an overview and interpretation of the “Good Samaritan” laws in Ohio. These laws are intended to allow someone to call an ambulance in the event someone overdoses and avoid prosecution or legal repercussion.
  • AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland: This is an AIDS Service Organization that aims to prevent the spread of AIDS through prophylactic medications and provide healthcare services for those who have already acquired HIV or AIDS.

Drug and Alcohol Detox & Rehab In Cleveland

If someone is attempting to stop using drugs or alcohol, it is often recommended that they enter a detox center in Cleveland. While some drugs such as stimulants do not directly produce dangerous physical withdrawal symptoms, other substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, do. Both alcohol and benzodiazepines can produce cardiovascular disruption and seizures if someone quits using them suddenly, so in cases where someone is expecting to undergo withdrawal from these drugs, it is highly recommended to enter a Cleveland detox center. There have also been cases of deaths due to opioid withdrawal, although this is very rare. Here at Ohio Addiction Recovery Center, we provide a drug and alcohol detox near Cleveland that is able to help anyone go through the detox process in the safest and most comfortable way possible. Once detox has been completed safely, treatment can begin in earnest at our Cleveland rehab center.

Addiction Recovery In Cleveland

The opportunities for addiction recovery are available at a rehab center in Cleveland, and Ohio Addiction Recovery Center is here to help someone begin their journey on the road to recovery. We offer dual diagnosis treatment programs that include some of the most effective evidence-based therapies. Our 12-step-based approach has proven effective at helping people recover from an addiction to drugs and alcohol and continue growth in every aspect of their lives. Addiction doesn’t develop overnight, and recovery will likewise take time. With the support, counseling, and care from our trained clinicians, anyone can find freedom from addiction and begin building a happy and full life.

We provide treatment and care to our clients directly while also working to help our clients get connected into recovery communities and find services or resources for any other issues they may be facing. Recovery is a process, and the more help someone has along the way, the smoother this journey will be. We encourage all of our clients to continue their recovery journey by joining a recovery fellowship once treatment has been completed. Just a few of the recovery fellowships in and around Cleveland include:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: An easy AA meeting locator tool. There are over 1,000 meetings per week in Cleveland.
  • Heroin Anonymous: There are currently 9 different groups meeting every week in Cleveland and more in the metro area.
  • Cocaine Anonymous: Find a CA meeting near you. There are currently over 30 CA meetings per week in Cleveland.
  • Narcotics Anonymous: Find NA meetings near you. There are currently over 80 NA meetings in Cleveland every week.

There are other, non-12-step based recovery fellowships as well. Everyone has their own path to recovery, and some people may prefer a 12-step path, while other people may prefer another way. Some non-12-step recovery fellowships in and around Cleveland include:

  • Celebrate Recovery: A Christian-based recovery fellowship, they have a meeting locator to find meetings near you. There are currently 15 CR groups meeting across Cleveland every week.
  • SMART Recovery: An acronym for Self-Management And Recovery Training, this recovery fellowship currently has 9 in-person meetings in Cleveland every week, and many more virtual meetings.
  • Recovery Dharma: A Buddhism-oriented recovery fellowship, they currently have 2 meetings in Cleveland every week.

The journey of recovery can be difficult at times, although it is often much easier than the journey someone went through in active addiction. Having a network of others in recovery can be crucial for someone to be able to change their life and live it happily. This can also be true for the friends and family of people recovering from an addiction. There are also groups for them, including:

  • Al-Anon: Meetings for the loved ones of people in recovery from addiction, Al-Anon currently has 9 meetings a week across Cleveland.
  • Nar-Anon: Find meetings for friends and family of people in recovery from narcotic addiction. There are currently 2 meetings per week in Cleveland.