People are dying, people are crying, and the opiate epidemic of Ohio is slowly taking over. It’s no secret that Ohio has become slave to the opiate trade with legal pharmaceuticals and heroin flooding the streets with every corner you turn. So then you take a swarm of addicts and alcoholics and throw them into a sea of chemicals and what do you get? The perfect storm is what it is. You have crime rate growing, the number of deaths and hospital visits alike growing, and the number of drug addicted babies is growing.
Problems related to drug addiction are ever increasing as friends and families watch their loved ones immerse themselves into the misery that is the disease. Addiction and alcoholism corrupt the person’s soul as powerlessness and unmanageability take over. Much of the time, relationships are tarnished and addicts and alcoholics find themselves only associating with like-minded people. Unfortunately, two sick people don’t create a well person. When two people who are actively using begin to procreate, they are only spreading their misery as addiction so often as we do. Even worse is it is being spread to an unborn child who is already entering the world with strikes against them and are just plain old defenseless in the matter.
Ohio isn’t the only state of the 50 to fall victim to such a plague of chemically related misfortune. No no. This opiate epidemic has spread across the United States and is racking up the numbers of overdose-related deaths and drug addicted babies off the charts. Chemical dependency has manifested its own version of the Black Death that is literally dropping people in the streets just like the plague itself did several hundred years ago.
In Ohio, the numbers for babies born addicted to drugs has risen tremendously over the last decade and some change. With numbers in comparison from the year 2005 to the year 2015, babies born and needing to be treated for premature chemical dependency has multiplied by 8 times. With such a large increase, that brings the state’s number claiming that there were 84 newborns a day being born and needing to be treated for substance withdrawal right out the womb. In 2008, Akron’s Children’s Hospital began copying down the facts and keeping record of the number of drug addicted newborn cases that were appearing left and right. It was in 2010 specifically that something must have happened as everything took a sickening turn and the numbers skyrocketed. With the average of 20 cases a year before hand, then leaping to 50 that year and ever since just slowly climbing, a number of undeserving children being born into that can really pull at one’s heartstrings.
Calling it an epidemic is an understatement. With precious newborn life being born into immediate withdrawals all over the state of Ohio, the price to keep these newborns alive is rising in itself. With the rate of drug addicted babies growing and there being no speed bumps in sight, the treatment to detoxify all these infants is costly. In that comparative report on the years 2005 and 2015, the state of Ohio’s health care system was costing up to $133 million in cases related to chemical dependency in infancy- most of these cases being covered by Medicaid specifically.
The rate is increasing so quickly and dramatically that some hospitals and prenatal settings are filling up to the point where there isn’t any room to take said newborns. Rick Massatti with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services said, “Some settings are running out of capacity and they don’t have a place for all of these babies, so they’re having to be triaged out of the NICU to other lower levels of care.” There has literally become drug addicted babies overflowing in some hospitals around the state.
Those numbers are what insanity is made out of. Yet the ongoing question remains: what can be done about it? Clearly, heroin is everywhere and probably always will be. The war on drugs is a bit counterproductive and recognizing that we cannot completely eliminate that problem is imperative. Drugs will always be around and if somebody needs to get high, then they will find a way to do so. That right there in itself is the issue though. If somebody needs to get high and avoid the beauty of reality and the life provided, then there is another issue at hand. Maintaining and remembering that addiction and alcoholism are a disease is of the utmost importance when it comes to such matters.
That being said, locking away people isn’t going to solve any problems necessarily. Sure, dealers and connects can be incarcerated and we can add to our overpopulated prison systems. That works, but only to an extent. Treating addiction/alcoholism as a disease and recognizing that the people inflicted need help is where we start the process of lowering these surprising rates caused by addiction. Too many babies are born addicted to chemicals because the mothers are often too afraid to get help or are completely unaware that there is another way of life out there besides the desolation that addiction provides.
Drug addiction and life are two words that should not be synonymous with each other. When the rate of such has gotten to where it has, there’s a bit of a fear instilled for future generations. Babies being born addicted to external forces as such can present a path for that child that could include psychological and physical damage/development. It’s more than apparent that something big in Ohio’s addiction industry must change immediately before it becomes too late.
Adjusting the Roots for the Seeds
Addiction and alcoholism walk us down an unpreventable road of bad luck and hard tales. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, yet alone give it to my offspring and start them off in the same misery we tuck ourselves away into. You can’t get clean for anybody else in this life- but at the very least, you can get clean for the newborns of the future. You can at the least get clean temporarily for the child and give them the fresh opportunity they deserve in this unexpected life. We have the tools to tame addiction and alcoholism, it’s up to us whether we want to be the puppet or the master and bring others down with us. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you, your loved one, or your “soon to come” on a path of freedom and joy away from the shackles of our alcoholic thinking.