Ohio heroin news update

I saw this car in a McDonald’s parking lot near Middletown south of Dayton, in the heart of the nation’s heroin trade.

Hurricane Harvey vs Heroin

Five are known dead more than two days after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall. Meanwhile, more than six Ohioans likely died of heroin overdoses in that time, and tens of thousands more are using or affected by abuse.

Needle exchanges — a solution story worth pursuing in Ohio counties

Exchanges have significant statistical support as a solution to heroin-related dangers and significant public costs. These counties with large numbers of ODs don’t appear to have them: Montgomery, Lucas, Mahoning, Trumbull, Jefferson, Lorain, Lake, Clark, and these more rural counties with high death rates: Jackson, Pike, Clinton, Brown, Adams, Marion, Vinton and Allen.

This unofficial list of needle-exchange locations was provided by Melanie Amato at the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Syringe Exchange Programs as of 6-17-17 (1) Exchanges are not required to report to the state.

Amato also provided this link to the Ohio Revised Code regarding exchanges.

Meanwhile, Amato says complete, final 2016 data is not yet available. Your Voice Ohio will receive the information as soon as possible.

Recent stories

National Graphic produced a somewhat complicated but fascinating animated video showing how drugs affect brain processes. Worth linking to stories.

CNN says southwest Ohio is the nation’s epicenter: Clermont County sheriff’s personal experience leads CNN report . Story says the nation’s supply passes through Dayton via interstates 70 and 75.

The Dispatch published a three-day series last week on the impact of fentanyl. A recent trend is that the deaths are getting younger. (We’ll explore this down to the county level when new data arrives.)

Deaths may be understated, according to a University Virginia sampling, in this NBC News. According to the researcher who studied Pennsylvania and several other states (not Ohio), “a specific drug was not identified in 19.5 percent of fatal overdoses. And in 2008, that figure was even higher — 25.4.” So I checked Ohio for 2014-15: About 20 percent of the death certificates said died of an unspecified drug.

Solutions

Because data show younger people becoming addicted and dying, education becomes critical. What are your local school districts doing? Need data on young deaths for your county? I can provide them. Here’s a U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data sheet that includes education programs.

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