In 2013, there were 170 heroin-related deaths in Cuyahoga County, accounting for more than either homicides, or car accidents. This number is also a 24% increase from the number of heroin deaths in 2012. While Cuyahoga County's numbers are fairly extreme, the problem is not limited to Northeast Ohio. Ohio ranks 11th in the country in opiate deaths, and counties across the state are seeing spikes in opiate use.
While traditionally a problem associated with urban areas, heroin is becoming increasingly popular in suburban and rural communities. One important piece of the issue is the rise in prescription opiates. The liberal prescription of pain medication has catalyzed the heroin epidemic, as patients who run out of or lose their prescriptions turn to the cheaper, more potent option of heroin.
Our panel discusses the various pieces and players involved in the epidemic, and provides a look at what the future holds for Ohio in the fight against heroin.
Featuring Dr. Christina Delos Reyes, Program Director, Addiction Psychiatry, University Hospitals Case Medical Center; Judge Michael Astrab, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas; and moderated by Monica Robins, Evening Anchor & Senior Health Correspondent, WKYC Channel 3 News.