Cincinnati and the Opioid Epidemic
The destructive power of opioids has exacted a heavy toll on Ohio in recent years, in particular Cincinnati. In fact, Ohio has one of the highest numbers of people who have lost their lives to an opioid overdose in the entire country. In 2016, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3,613 Ohioans died after overdosing on at least one opioid. In 2017, opioids claimed even more lives in Ohio, 4,854 in total. Although the precise numbers for 2018 have not yet been determined, several thousand people died in Ohio from opioids last year as well. Prescription opioids are beginning to cause fewer deaths in Ohio, but synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, are increasingly fueling the opioid epidemic in the Buckeye State.
Cincinnati and Hamilton County have not been immune to the terrible consequences of opioid abuse. In 2017 and 2018, hundreds of people in Hamilton County called 911, and hundreds more visited a hospital because they suffered an opioid overdose, two powerful indications that the opioid epidemic in Cincinnati is serious. In 2017, 570 Ohioans died from an overdose in Hamilton County, and the growing prevalence of heroin abuse in Cincinnati is beginning to cause a local outbreak of HIV and other needle-borne diseases among victims of drug addiction. Drug traffickers often lace heroin with fentanyl or even more dangerous opioids to create more powerful products. They thereby expose their victims to greater overdose risks. The heroin problem in Cincinnati is so severe that there were 174 heroin overdoses within the span of only six days in 2017.
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The Prevalence of Drug Trafficking
The active market for illegal drugs in Cincinnati has made the city a target for drug traffickers, and police in Cincinnati are working to stop illegal drugs from entering their jurisdiction. In 2018, the Cincinnati Narcotics Unit and Drug Enforcement Agency arrested ten people who were conspiring to sell three kilograms of cocaine, four kilograms of methamphetamine, and three kilograms of heroin combined with fentanyl, a supply of illicit and dangerous substances worth about $500,000. That same year, a man from Cincinnati was sentenced in federal court to twenty years in prison for selling fentanyl and heroin which caused someone to die in 2016. In Cincinnati as in the rest of the country, the human costs and legal consequences of drug trafficking are catastrophic.
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Addiction to opioids and other substances is a heavy burden. If you or someone you care about in Cincinnati is struggling to overcome substance abuse, contact a dedicated treatment provider today. There are recovery centers in Cincinnati and throughout Ohio for anyone who wants to begin to reclaim their life.