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Ohio’s Drug Epidemic is Worse Than Ever

Khalil Gibran once scribed, “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity.” These are wise words that apply to most more than they will ever know. Addiction is a disease that causes so much pain but ironically feeds off it.

Often times, those with alcoholic thinking will look to substances to ease the pain they have concluded themselves to be in. They look for substances to alleviate the painful weight of life, be that emotional or physical, and find themselves unintentionally stacking on more weight. That’s just what addiction does. It convinces addicts that their bad decisions are the right ones. It’s a sick form of lunacy that only gets more painful until those substances are finally dropped by the wayside. This happens essentially only happens 1 of 2 ways, by picking recovery or by picking death.  

In this life, everything we do is a byproduct of something else we did. We have the power of choice and with every choice, we are brought to a point where another choice must be made. Even deciding to not do anything is still a choice. So what do you do when there’s nothing you can do but you can’t do nothing? That’s kind of the tipping point the opioid epidemic has brought many to. We really have to accept the facts and choose recovery or wind up another statistic. The future for Ohio and the rest of the country looks bleak.

A time has arrived for us to choose recovery over the misery that the opioid crisis is delivering daily. It’s going to be here for a while, but are we?  

Strange Reality  

With the way the country’s opioid epidemic has developed, it’s not odd at all to see the ambulances pull into your neighborhood and wheel somebody out on a stretcher- happens all the time. It’s become the norm more or less. Most law enforcement in Ohio now carries Narcan, a shot that has the drug Naloxone in it. Naloxone can limit or stop the effects of an opioid overdose. However, it’s just a band-aid for the detrimental reality that has taken its grasp on the midwestern state.

2016 and 2017 both saw the explosion of Fentanyl and Carfentanil onto the streets of Ohio, and the aftermath and statistics do not lie. 2016 was a rough year for the addicts of Ohio, is that it was at the top of the list of states most affected. That same opioid reversing narcotic was administered 43,000 times in 2017, an increase in from the less 31,800 doses administered in 2016. So many lives have been and still are at stake because of the opioid crisis bullying the nation.

Most Damn Anything

Opiates specifically will steal your psyche and heart. They create a literal slave to the substance as it controls every aspect of your emotional, physical, and mental psyche. It’s not just the Fentanyl and Carfentanil either. A slew of other painkillers/opioids floods the Reaper’s hand as addict after addict introduces themselves. Some of those other deadly chemicals include:

  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Valium
  • Morphine
  • Dilaudid
  • Heroin

Whatever the cocktail of choice, once again, the statistics don’t lie. Any form of opiates will help somebody take their last breath, just some pack a bigger punch than others. One of the biggest issues in Ohio, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, is that most of the time addicts are taking something they don’t know what it is. Back to the Fentanyl/Carfentanil dilemma, these two are usually cut into heroin supplies to stretch and strengthen them. This makes it so that nobody really knows the ratio they are doing when they break it down into their bloodstream. This is just putting fire and gasoline together.   

Looking More Into the Numbers

That all being said, Ohio overdose rates outshine all the other 49 states in the country for 2016. The state leads the U.S. in opioid overdose deaths as well as specifically heroin overdose deaths. An overall look at this past couple years has shown that 1 in 9 overdoses that occur in the United States happen in Ohio. Even worse is Ohio’s death toll for 2017 shamed the numbers for the previous year. The number of Fentanyl caused deaths through the first 3 quarters of 2017 was 230 in comparison with the 144 that happened the year prior.

Looking at it on a national scale, there were 63,632 deaths from drugs in 2016. This means nearly 20 drug deaths per 100,000 people. This is 21 percent higher than the rate back in 2015 when only 52,404 died. There’s absolutely no denying that every year the problem is growing in size. Something needs to be done soon, and hopefully soon is soon enough.

Tracy-Plouck
Tracy Plouck – Director of Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services

An Answer to Be Found

Tracy Plouck, the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, explains that prevention is the best solution we have to reduce overdose deaths. The money to yield more addiction treatment services across the country is just not there yet, so we need to do what we can. If treatment for the masses is not there, then prevention is the method we can cling onto.

We need people to understand it’s a problem all over Ohio, and we have to try and get people into treatment. “We can’t just put people in jail”, explained Dublin Ohio Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg. His words say it all. There is no easy solution to the crisis at hand. This is going to be a long-term project that will hopefully benefit generations to come. America’s chickens are coming home to roost and it’s imperative we know what side of addiction we want to be on. None of us have to be another silent Ohioan statistic.  

Moving States Won’t Change the Problem

Life likes to sneak up on people but alcoholic thinking will do so by grabbing you by the ankles and flipping your whole world upside down. It can get 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 call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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