Painkiller Addiction Rate in Ohio on Par With Alcoholism
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The rate of addiction to painkillers in Ohio has skyrocketed in recent years and is now on par with addiction to alcohol.
Ohioans are becoming increasingly addicted to painkillers. Of the more than 87,000 patients that were treated for addiction in 2013, around 33% were addicted to alcohol and 32% were addicted to opioids, more than double the rate from 2008.
According to executive director of Paint Valley ADAMH Juni Johnson, the large influx of opioid addicts seeking treatment was spurred by the sharp increase in opioid-related deaths.
“We’ve flooded the market over the last couple years with referrals and coordinated care for people with opiate addiction,” Johnson said.
The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated 22.7 million Americans over the age of 12 needed drug or alcohol-related addiction treatment, but only 10% actually received it, primarily because they couldn’t afford it.
While the number of opioid-addicted patients is alarming, the fact that they are seeking help is viewed positively, and the recent Medicaid coverage expansion in January means even more opioid-addicts could receive the treatment they need.
“With the help of Medicaid expansion, we’ve really been able to throw open the doors and provide coordinated treatment,” Johnson said.