Drug overdose deaths, particularly those caused by opioids, have been at the forefront of national news for over a decade. Still, 2017 was an especially difficult year for the millions of Americans struggling with addiction. In Ohio alone, Hamilton County witnessed a 31% increase of drug overdose deaths (529 deaths total) as compared to the previous year. That same year, Butler County saw a similar 21% increase (232 deaths). Since then, the trend has only gotten worse. And yet, most of the nation is not treating this issue like the epidemic it is. So, what is the solution? For Ohio, the answer could be the establishment of more Cincinnati drug rehab programs.
The Drug Overdose Crisis in Ohio
The rise in drug overdose rates across the country is not new. In fact, back in 2011, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was the first organization to recognize the still ongoing opioid crisis as an epidemic. Six years later, in October 2017, President Donald J. Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Still, recognizing the overdose epidemic for what it is was not enough to hinder its progression. In that period, almost 11,000 Ohio residents died of a drug overdose. Moreover, over 64,000 people nationwide have died from drug overdoses in 2016 alone.
Ohio’s overdose death rate is the second worst in the nation. Moreover, different counties all across Ohio suffered substantial spikes in overdose deaths in 2017 alone:
- Warren County saw the largest increase in overdose death rates at 94 suspected overdose deaths, up 34% from 2016
- Clermont County witnessed 80 overdose deaths and is the only county to have reported the same rate in 2016
- Hamilton County witnessed a staggering 529 suspected overdose deaths, up 31% from 2016
- Butler County reported a total of 232 suspected overdose deaths, up 21% from 2016
- Dearborn County recorded 15 suspected overdose deaths, up 25% from 2016
- Campbell County recorded 75 suspected overdose deaths, up 25% from 2016
The number of overdose deaths in the state of Ohio has tripled since 2011. While these reports do cover all forms of drug overdose, it is important to note that opioids have been the primary killers in Ohio over the past few years. Heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil have been the most significant influencers in Ohio’s drug overdose rates.
The Need for Cincinnati Drug Rehab Programs
The drug overdose death toll in Ohio is the second worst in the nation, surpassed only by West Virginia. Moreover, the White House has not made any promising strides toward ending the growing drug overdose epidemic. No new funding has been made available for Cincinnati drug rehab programs, or any programs nationwide. One member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis even called the work of that group “a sham.” Many seem to agree.
Dr. Judith Feinberg, a nationally renowned expert in addiction and disease from Cincinnati, has discussed the issue of the overdose epidemic on more than one occasion:
“There needs to be an immense expansion of drug treatment. There’s nowhere near enough spots for the number of people who need treatment. If we don’t pour appropriate resources into the situation, it’s only going to get worse.”
Our Cincinnati Drug Rehab Programs
While it is true that we as a community have made progress through the widespread availability of anti-overdose drugs like naltrexone, we are not addressing the whole issue. We are treating the symptom, but not the illness. If the national drug overdose epidemic is ever going to end, we need to take action and treat the people who have substance use disorders. And our Cincinnati drug rehab programs are here to do just that. If you need help to conquer an addiction, or if you have any questions about our programs and services, call Cincinnati Addiction Rehab and Recovery at 513-268-7772.