The Bubonic Plague, AIDS, and Addiction/Alcoholism- what do they all have in common you ask? They all share the same value and are all widespread epidemics. Sure, alcoholism isn’t contagious necessarily unless you take genetics into consideration, but none the less, it is very much as infectious a disease as the other two. One of the biggest problems with chemical dependency is that the drugs are too good now. Science got involved even more so and things are being cloned, modified, more chemicals added to them, etc. Opiates over the last ten years skyrocketed with the amount of usage in the United States. The dreaded “pill mills” dumped heaps of pain killers onto the citizens and watched as addiction/alcoholism grew to an all-time high. Heroin made a big return on the streets as soon as “pill mills” started getting shut down, and before you know it, everybody and their mother are unfortunately slaves to these demonizing narcotics. It’s truly a shame.
What A Time to be Alive
As the amount of people falling in love with opiates grew, so have incarcerations and deaths. It has gotten to a point where most counties and states require their police officers to carry Narcan on them, a shot that quickly counters an overdose while it’s happening. This is a shot that has the drug Naloxone in it. Naloxone can limit or stop the effects of an opioid overdose. The sad truth behind it is that even though it’s a requirement in some areas, it’s not pushed in others. Unfortunately, it is an expensive drug to maintain and not all counties/states have the funding for it despite rising numbers of overdose deaths. Luckily the great state of Ohio is one of them that does support the reversing effects and see it as a necessity. Some areas become known for their copious amounts of opiates flooding the streets- be they painkillers or heroin. Statistics don’t lie. 2016 was a rough year for addiction and Ohio was at the top of that list. Ohio overdose rates increased dramatically and with people dying left and right, it’s safe to say we have an epidemic at hand. It is a marvelous time to be alive because you’ll never be younger than you are today. Life is such a gift and it’s hard to see that when we’re deep in the grips of addiction and not thinking rationally. Opiates specifically will steal your psyche and heart. I would’ve traded my soul to the devil for a teenie weenie little bag of heroin. You stop possessing the character inside that makes you the being you are and you become a literal slave to the substance. Every and all bets go out the window once we become dependent on the drug and all functionality disappears out the door. Not just heroin, but painkillers too. Oxycontin, Percocet, Valium, Morphine, Dilaudids and the list goes on. These are all prescription drugs that will take somebody’s life every day just the same as illegal drugs such as heroin do.
That all being said, Ohio overdose rates outshined all the other 49 states in the country for 2016. This state leads the U.S. in opioid overdose deaths as well as specifically heroin overdose deaths. An overall look at these past couple of years has shown that 1 in 9 overdoses that occur in the United States happen in Ohio. In 2014, it was reported by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that 2,106 opioid overdoses that year. This was a number that exceeded the overdose deaths of California and New York who were close behind. In 2015, the annual overdose deaths reported for that year jumped all the way up to 3,050. That is just absolutely insane! The foundation has yet to record the final number for 2016 as our year has yet to finish and sadly those numbers will continue to grow for the last couple of weeks.
What is the reason for the growing number of deaths? Well, it’s partly a combination of addiction/alcoholism becoming more common as people delve into the realms of the different drugs at hand. So as certain substances become more accessible, so does the supply and demand for them. Tolerances are grown and the want for stronger substances start making their rounds. Right now, there is a specific drug called Carfentanil. This is a narcotic that is essentially guilty for the terrifying increase in Ohio overdose rates in 2016 specifically. It is the most potent opioid used commercially for large animals typically and never for human consumption. The smallest dose of this narcotic can bring a 2,000-pound elephant down and out cold. It is reported to be thousands of times stronger than Morphine which, for years, used to be one of the biggest enemies to opiate addiction. Carfentanil makes morphine look like child’s play. So this substance used for large animals as such, is now being cut into heroin to make it stronger and to stretch dealers’ supplies. That being said, the heroin hitting the streets today is nothing like it used to be and is a lot more dangerous. That’s saying a lot right there. Individuals with the most promising of futures begin turning cold as they stop breathing. It goes to show how powerful addiction can be when somebody is willing to take a risk and throw it all away. It’s like playing Russian roulette and there are already 3 bullets in the chamber. The odds are just already so against you, why even attempt to play? The pay-off is not worth losing a life over.
Moving States Won’t Change the Problem
Life likes to sneak up on people but addiction and alcoholism grab you up by the ankles and flip your whole world upside down. It gets old quick- but there are alternatives to being chemically dependent. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.