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The Ohio Heroin Situation

Data from the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network show that according to agencies involved with drug abuse rehabilitation and intervention, heroin is still easy to obtain in all reporting areas of the state. Officials have described heroin as the MOST problematic and one of the most available drugs available in Ohio at this time, calling it epidemic, while drug rehab facilities in Ohio are in insufficient supply.

Participants in the study identified drug dealers moving into Ohio from other states and recruiting their customers to become dealers for them, thereby expanding operations into new territory and finding new openings in small, tightly knit communities. Police report that as soon as a dealer is arrested, a new dealer takes his place and new pushers appearing almost every day. In the Dayton area, law enforcement expressed concern over the fact that they have more cases involving heroin than marijuana.

Contributors to the report also state that the purity and potency of the heroin hitting the streets is very high. They reported the quality and purity as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being 'garbage' and 10 the best pure heroin. They said that that in order to recruit new customers, they're distributing "testers", small amounts of the drug given freely and randomly. One person reported having the testers literally thrown into her car.

Another method of increasing the "customer base" for these pushers is distributing narcotic pain relievers at bargain prices in order to produce dependence and addiction, then 'running out' of those and offering heroin as a solution to the addict's withdrawal problems. The heroin will be stronger and initially less expensive than the pills and now we have a new customer.

Lawmakers have had a difficult time dealing with this situation because of, in part, the plethora of sources of the drugs. Physicians, pain clinics, pharmacists and other sources of the pain medications are turning what used to be called Drug Diversion into a new cottage industry.

Then heroin pushers arriving from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and other areas capitalize on the increased demand. The influx of heroin into Ohio is at all-time highs and overdose rates are phenomenal.

Once a person is addicted, drug rehabilitation treatment is essential. The sooner the better.

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older in Ohio, by Substate Region: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs (Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

In 2007, accidental drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes for the first time on record.

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