In less than six months, nearly over 400 people in the Ohio have lost their lives due to drug overdose. Dayton, just like the rest of American cities has faced the synthetic opioid fentanyl flooding the society. In Ohio, predictions have suggested that the deaths as a result of drug abuse in the year 2017 are likely to double the number reported during the year 2016. Each and every day, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office has been carrying about two doses of Narcan – the opioid antidote which is used in overdose treatments. At the moment, the concern has been that this is not enough for the community because the drugs are now getting stronger and potent. Officials suggested that if enough resources are not put in place in fighting the problem, then they are expecting a surge in the deaths related to drug abuse and overdoses (Ekeh, Akpofure & et al, 2014).
Substance abuse has continued to be an important public health issue and which has contributed greatly to mortality and morbidity rates through rout the United States of America and globally. The well established patterns of the beginning and progression of drug use and abuse during youth period has contributed to the growth of many preventive alternatives for the adolescents and adults. Many of adults facing substance abuse problems begin to abuse these substances during their adolescent age.
Recently, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and sedative hypnotics have remained highly available in the Dayton region; also highly available have been Suboxone and prescription stimulants. Their availability changes include likely increase in the availability of powdered cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Suboxone, including decrease in the availability of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
Community professionals and participants have reported that the availability of the powdered cocaine has drastically been increasing. Law enforcement professionals suggest that the increased availability has been due to the increased popularity of mixing heroin with the powdered cocaine and which is commonly known as the “Speedballing”. Young individuals have been the most affected by the cocaine usage due to the popular culture factors like the lyrics in most of music which have been glorifying and promoting the usage of the drugs. Professionals in the community have noted that among the typical powdered cocaine users are often white and also they have added that young individuals have been increasingly using the powdered cocaine. However, the participants discussed the strong connection between the powdered cocaine users and alcohol users by explaining that, the drug allows more alcohol consumption.
Law enforcement together with participants has reported that there has been an increase in the availability of the methamphetamine. The Miami Regional Valley Crime Lab has reported the occurrences of methamphetamine cases which are being processed have significantly been on the rise during the reporting period. It reported that many of the methamphetamine types and which are available in the region including the powdered and crystalline tan, brown and white. Treatment providers in the Dayton have commented that methamphetamine, in Ohio was not as available in Dayton as it was in the other regions, while the treatment providers reported high availability. People described methamphetamine as male, white and rural. Reportedly, methamphetamine is commonly being used in small social circles.
Law enforcements and participants have also reported a decrease in the availability of bath salts. Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab have reported that there is a decreasing number in the bath salt cases, a report it processed during the reporting period, however, the overall participants has reported that bath salts was not their drug of choice and that they did not pursue them.
Despite enacted legislations, synthetic marijuana has been available in the streets from the head shops as well as from dealers. However, participants together with the health professionals have reported a decreased availability of the synthetic marijuana. In addition, a treatment provider was discussing the information which was released recently regarding the dangers of the drug usage and cited that as having a positive effect of keeping its users from using the substance. They also noted that the users preferred to smoke the regular marijuana.
Lastly, Community professionals have also reported an increase in the availability of powdered MDMA (molly) as many people prefer to call it. The law enforcements have suggests that the substance has been more popular among the college community.
The knowledge gained from the research is very crucial especially in identifying and developing effective treatment and prevention approaches. From individual to individual, there exists great variability in their patterns of their substance use and abuse. Some people may face life-time addiction struggles while others live without experimenting with any substances (Cassidy, Budman & Butler, 2014).
However, from the perspective of population, the epidemiologic pattern is predictable and consistence. The officials in the Ohio health, addiction and public safety agencies together with its pharmacy board work to curb the drug abuse and overdose cases together with its deaths through implementation of a number of strategies which include;
This means working together with the law makers in order to stiffen penalties for the individuals who are illegally selling fentanyl, supporting the local drug task forces and stepping up the drug seizure efforts.
This requires provision of resources in expanding public awareness campaigns on the opioid overdose reversal drugs, together with making more naloxone available.
This requires expanding the addiction treatment programs which are being offered through the drug courts to the areas with high number of fatal overdoses, and developing a tool kit which the hospital emergency departments can use in helping the direct overdose patients to the community resources and treatments.
Integrating the Ohio Automated RX Reporting System in to more electronic medical records; the pharmacy dispensing systems; as well as making the educational information over the opioids and their prescription part of the licensure process for the physicians.
Promoting drug take-back opportunities for safe disposal of the medications which are not required and getting more parents, community leaders and teachers signed up for emails which offer tips to talking to the youth over the substance abuse.
Heroin, prescription opioids, marijuana, prescription stimulants, Subaxone and sedative-hypnotics have remained highly available in the Dayton Region. This availability changes in the past months and including the availability increase for Suboxone and Heroin, and decrease in the availability for synthetic marijuana and bath salts (Howard, Matthew, et al, 2015).
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