Ohio’s opioid crisis is taking the lives of roughly 11 people per day. Recovering drug addicts and people from services that help them gathered on the Statehouse lawn today to draw attention to the problem.
Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Tracy Plouck says even though the number of deaths continues to increase year over year, the state is making some headway in the fight against opioids. “We have seen some progress in the number of prescription opioids prescribed in Ohio so we’ve got some metrics that are showing some progress,” Plouck says. She was one of the speakers at the annual Rally for Recovery event. She says Ohio is spending more than a billion federal and state dollars for opioid abuse education and treatment. The state has cracked down on so-called pill mills and painkiller prescriptions. But some addicts have replaced those pills with heroin and fentanyl. More than 4000 Ohioans died last year from opioid overdoses – a 33% increase from the previous year.