Local resources available for those struggling with drug abuse

WKBN is launching a year-long public service campaign to raise awareness about the problem and help come up with solutions

Heroin crisis

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.

The CDC says:

  • 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:

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.”

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