As of the most recent 2017 census, Youngstown, Ohio had a population of 64,604, which makes it the 9th largest city in the state. Around 60 miles away from Cleveland and 65 miles away from Pittsburgh, which helped the city grow quickly in the 19th and 20th centuries as steel production boomed in the areas. The steel boom resulted in a huge increase of immigrants to Youngstown who were seeking work. The population of the city peaked in 1930 at just over 170,000 residents. The great demand for steel during World War II kept the population and the city thriving After World War II, the nation and the world’s demand for steel, the primary product being made and exported from Youngstown, fell dramatically, which caused the industrial base of the city to begin its decline. 

A severe loss of manufacturing jobs would occur over the next few decades and the decentralization of metropolitan areas would soon follow. There is also some responsibility for the national housing crisis which started in 2008. While much of the nation and Ohio suffered for similar reasons, the effects on Youngstown was more extreme than other areas of the state. Youngstown had the second-largest percentage of population loss in the state since the 1980s behind only behind nearby Cleveland.

The city has just recently started to see a revival in its downtown area and has had its first major hotel added to the city in 50+ years. Even though a rejuvenation of the city has finally started to occur, it doesn’t mean that serious damage hadn’t occurred. Crime rates in the city skyrocketed as the population fell leading to spikes in poverty and drug use. 

With a crime rate of 43 per one thousand residents, Youngstown easily has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes. Someone’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Youngstown is one in 23. The crime rate is 135 percent higher than the average in Ohio when it comes to violent crimes. The violent crime rate also exceeds the national average by 78 percent. The property crime rate in Youngstown is 53 percent higher than the Ohio average and 57 percent higher than the national average.


Drug Use in Youngstown

Drug use and crime tend to go hand in hand. Where crime rates are higher, the sale and use of drugs will also be more prominent. Drug use in Youngstown has remained a problem for decades and over the past few years, the death-toll that these substances have caused has been absolutely staggering. 

Mahoning County has seen a drastic increase over drug overdose and alcohol-related deaths. Ohio has continued to have the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the United States, second only to neighboring West Virginia. Mahoning County was ranked 7th in the state from 2010-2015 for accidental drug overdose deaths. The following two years, 2016 and 2017, were even worse for Youngstown and Mahoning County; there were a total of 4,854 overdose deaths in Ohio in 2017.


The Most Common Drug Threats to Youngstown, Ohio

In the early to mid-2000s, prescription pills, especially prescription painkillers, became a serious threat to Youngstown. As demand for pills remained the same but supply for decreased, prices for prescription painkillers in the 2010s rose significantly. Many of those addicted to opiates, both physically and mentally, turned to heroin for relief. The opiate epidemic had fully begun, but in just a few years no one realized how serious it would get. Heroin was everywhere by 2015, but in town, there was a new drug, far more terrifying than heroin; fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that can be up to 100x more potent than heroin. Just a few specs of this drug is enough to cause an overdose in a full-grown adult. This drug has become a serious issue and has caused widespread heartache throughout the country. It is now commonly being cut into heroin and even being sold independently to those struggling with opioid addiction. 

In 2017, a devastating 72,000 Americans died of a substance overdose, which is almost 200 people a day. More than two-thirds of these deaths were caused by opioids, which amounted to around 49,000 deaths. The amount of opioid-related fatalities has more than doubled over the past five years alone, reaching an epidemic level. Youngstown, Ohio, is one of the areas that the opioid crisis has hit hardest. Since 2011, Mahoning County has had one of the highest overdose death rates in Ohio. Ohio is a state whose opioid fatality rate consistently ranks among the highest in the nation, rendering Mahoning County one of the country’s worst areas for opioid overdoses, statistically.


How is Ohio Fighting the Opiate Epidemic?

The RecoveryOhio program and the RecoveryOhio Advisory Council were established by Governor Mike DeWine to organize and improve how the state handles both mental health problems and drug use. The Advisory Council comprises a diverse group of individuals who have served on prevention, recovery, advocacy, or support services for mental illness or drug use issues; government; private industry; law enforcement; health care; educational institutions; and religious groups.

The state has made free naloxone far more readily and easily available to the public. This life-saving drug can prevent an opiate overdose from becoming fatal. Residents are able to attend free classes and workshops where they can learn more about the signs of an overdose and how to administer the life-saving drug. Those who attend these classes will also be able to leave the course with a prescription for Naloxone.

Ohio has also made free strips for based opioid screening available to those who want it to minimize accidental exposure to fentanyl. Treatment and support services can now be used by anyone for people and their loved ones affected by substance use disorder. Even with all the work that has been done by state officials, we still have a very long way to go. State-funded rehabs in Youngstown are few, far, and in between. Rehabs that are available to those without private health insurance often have a long waiting list, which for many struggling addicts and alcoholics can be a death sentence. If you need help locating a treatment center or just want to know more about substance abuse and the signs of addiction, please contact our toll-free line at any time. 


Rehabs and Detoxes in Youngstown, OH

Anyone who is struggling with substance abuse disorder should seek out professional help for their issues. Trying to overcome the physical and mental stressors that accompany many addictions is no easy task. Doing it alone is not only very difficult, but it is also quite dangerous. One of the first steps toward a better life is entering a detox in Ohio. These programs will help those struggling to overcome withdrawals while in a safe and medically supervised environment. Many detoxes in Youngstown will use medications to offset the pain and mental anguish that occurs during this vital step on the road to recovery.

Upon completing detox it is strongly recommended that people continue to work on themselves and enter an inpatient rehab program in Ohio. Detoxes do little to nothing to help those struggling with the mental side of substance abuse. These rehab centers focus primarily on getting to the root cause of the problem and fixing it from the inside out. Most people will spend 30-60 days in one of these centers, but the time will vary from person to person. 

Once someone completes an inpatient treatment program they should continue their care in at least one of two ways. It is suggested that they enroll in an outpatient center and attend a support group/go to meetings. Outpatient rehabs in Ohio typically meet two to three days a week for a few hours each time. In these programs, clients will continue to work on the problems that were addressed while in the inpatient center, but the client will be able to live at home or in a halfway house. 


Meetings and Recovery Support in Youngstown

Meetings are very important; not only do they help recovering addicts and alcoholics stay on the right path, but it will also help introduce them to other people in recovery. A strong sober support group is essential for quality recovery and a happy life. Having other sober individuals to go out with and share experiences with will greatly improve their overall life. Some of the most well-known meeting groups are Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery; all of which offer free meetings in and around Youngstown. 

Youngstown AA Meeting finder:

Youngstown NA Meeting finder:

Refuge Recovery Meetings:

Celebrate Recovery Meetings:

SMART Recovery Meetings:

If you or someone you know need help locating a rehab center in Ohio or want to know more about the support groups that are available, please contact our toll-free line. One of our staff members is here to help you through this difficult time in any way that they can. Calls into Ohio Addiction Recovery Center are free of charge and your conversation with us is completely confidential. A better life is possible, and it might just be a phone call away.