YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Heroin is an epidemic that’s affecting every community in our Valley and across the country. Now, more Americans are dying from drug overdoses than in car crashes, as heroin-related deaths continue to skyrocket.
According to the CDC, heroin use has increased across the U.S. among men and women, most age groups and all income levels, with some of the greatest increases occurring in demographic groups that have had historically lower rates of heroin use, according to a new “Vital Signs” report.
- A wider variety of people is using heroin. Rates remained highest among males, 18–25-year-olds, people with annual incomes less than $20,000, people living in urban areas and people with no health insurance or those enrolled in Medicaid. However, rates increased significantly across almost all study groups. They doubled among women and more than doubled among non-Hispanic whites.
- It is common for people who use heroin to use other drugs. Ninety-six percent of people who reported heroin use also reported using at least one other drug in the past year. Sixty-one percent used at least three other drugs. Prescription opioid painkiller abuse or dependencies were the strongest risk factor for heroin abuse or dependence; 45 percent of people who used heroin also abused or were dependent on prescription opioid painkillers in the past year.
- As heroin abuse or dependence increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. From 2002 through 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled.
But, there are places to turn to for help.
The Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board have a number of resources to help those struggling with drug use or who have been affected by another’s drug usage.
Other local resources for those affected by the opiate epidemic include:
- Flying HIGH, Inc. helps others fulfill their potential by providing opportunities to develop their talents so they can advance economically by providing educational and economic opportunities for those in need. Call 330-797-3995.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA) 1-888-GET HOPE (1-888-438-4673)
- Coalition for a Drug Free Mahoning County offers drug prevention services
- Meridian HealthCare offers a comprehensive approach to drug and alcohol abuse that includes alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention, primary health care, housing, employee assistance programming and more. Call 330-797-0070.
- Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic is a community-based non-profit treatment facility treating both alcohol and other drug dependencies. Call 330-744-1181.
- Youngstown Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program (YUMADAOP) provides culturally and gender appropriate violence, alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) prevention and offender reentry services to residents of Mahoning County
- Mercer County Coalition for Drug Awareness works to reduce and prevent drug and alcohol abuse in Mercer County through awareness, education, and action
- Ohio Valley Teen Challenge provides a drug-free, alcohol-free, tobacco-free environment where men 18 and older can come for 12-14 months. Call 330-743-9030.
- Ohio CAN (Change Addiction Now), family voice and support. Contact Ohio CAN at Ohiowecan4@gmail.com or 330-717-9241.
- Turning Point Counseling Services provides evaluation and treatment for problems such as depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, drug and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, sleep and personality disorders, and many other behavioral health problems.
- Braking Point Recovery Center provides 72-hour driver’s intervention, outpatient addiction services, supportive housing and sub-acute detoxification. Call 330-270-2380.
- New Day Recovery offers outpatient addiction services and inpatient addiction services, including detox, in Boardman. Call 330-953-3330.
- TRAVCO Behavioral Health, Inc. offers outpatient addiction services. Call 330-286-0050.
- Youngstown Community Health Center – ACT Center for Recovery provides outpatient addiction services in Youngstown. Call 330-757-9551.
For more information on receiving a free naloxone (opioid-reversal drug) kit, call the Mahoning County District Board of Health at 330-270-2855, ext. 125 or visit www.mahoninghealth.org. Those receiving a kit will need to go through training on recognizing the signs and symptoms of an overdose, distinguishing between types of overdoses, performing rescue breathing and administering the drug.
The above is a list available resources in the Mahoning Valley and does not constitute an endorsement by WKBN.
WKBN is launching a year-long public service campaign to raise awareness about the problem and help come up with solutions. It kicked off with a special town hall discussion, “27 Investigates: Heroin Crisis – National Problem, Local Solutions.”