Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex, non-discriminant disease that affects more than 1 in 9 Americans. Recent statistics estimate that just under 20 million Americans can be classified as addicts, and countless others (some estimate 80 million or more) are considered at-risk of addiction. But practically no other region is as susceptible to addiction and addiction-related overdose and death as Ohio residents are.
Statistically, Ohio has one of the highest rates of active addiction use, overdoses and overdose deaths in the country. The state has more than double the amount of overdose deaths as compared to the national state average in the US (39.2/100,000 vs 14.6/100,000). The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that in 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the United States.
Explaining Addiction in Ohio
There are several circumstances which may be a catalyst for the high rates of addiction in Ohio, which has made the disease so critical to address and treat in the State. Access to drugs comes from two main sources: the illicit drug distribution trade and what experts coin the “pill spill”. Ohio is a well-known central pipeline for the drug trade, so access to the most harmful death-related opiates: heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil, are more accessible to its residents. The State’s medical community has also been criticized for its higher-than-normal propensity to prescribe pain medication. As many experts have detailed, pain medication prescriptions are often the gateway to a future of illicit opiate use.
The reality is that Ohioans are not inherently sicker that the rest of the American population, however, they are far more likely to be prescribed, or given access to illicit drugs that spur the opportunity to experiment with opioids, in specific.
Addiction Is A Disease
Physicians have been “treating” alcohol and drug dependency for hundreds of years, but scientists only began to consider addiction as a “disease” in the 1930’s. Beforehand, alcoholism and drug addiction was considered an affliction of the morally corrupt. But in 1937, The Research Council on Problems of Alcohol hired a team of prominent physicians to study alcohol-related problems, which is considered one of the first attempts to treat addiction as a disease.
In less than 100 years, clinicians have discovered that addiction, whether born from a biological predisposition, or as a result of a person’s socio-economical situation, affects the individual just the same.
What we know today that we didn’t know then is that drugs and alcohol change a person’s brain chemistry, causing compulsive abuse due to the insatiable urge to use. Self-control is lost and the impulse to use is often too great to overcome, even for the most determined individual. But our modern understanding of addiction and the therapies available to treat it have, like never before, enabled even the most severe addict to reach long-term sobriety and regain a healthy life. As a drug and alcohol treatment center in Ohio, we feel an even greater obligation to serve the addicted community, especially one that suffers so greatly in our immediate area.
Getting Help for Addiction in Ohio
Whether for yourself of someone else, the first step is to tell someone what’s going on – that you are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Asking for help early can help you or a loved one reclaim years lost to addiction. Your doctor is a great resource to go to in finding different treatment options in Ohio, as they typically have a number of referral sources to consider for your specific needs. As an addiction treatment center in Ohio, we take great pride in offering addiction therapy and solutions for the people within our community, and do our best to meet varying needs and levels of care. We offer treatment options for those covered by insurance, including Medicaid, and offer self-pay treatment options – and when available – scholarship opportunities at our Ohio treatment facility. To learn more about our treatment options and current availability, please call our admissions office at 513-909-2225.