What’s The Matter With Ohio?

Because Ohio’s drug-related deaths have skyrocketed since 2011:

Ohio_OD

(the link has a good interactive chart).

Since 2011 opioid and opiate deaths combined in Ohio have increased from 1,228 to 4,365 in 2016–a 3.55-fold increase. But cocaine overdose deaths have increased by almost exactly the same amount during that period as well: 309 to 1,109 (benzodiazepine-related deaths have increased by fifty percent during that time frame). In terms of numbers, more people are using opioids and heroin, but the rate of increase in American Carnage (to use a phrase) is nearly identical for cocaine. In fact, psychostimulant (e.g., meth), hallucinogen, and alcohol-related deaths* have also skyrocketed, increasing 2.5 to 3-fold as well.

Based on Ohio’s population size, it has about triple the fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine deaths one would expect, while it’s doing somewhat better than one would expect with prescription opioids and psychostimulants (unfortunately, this modest improvement doesn’t come close to counteracting the deaths caused by the ‘big three’).

This does not appear to be a ‘drug-specific’ problem in Ohio, as lethal drug use of all kinds is increasing and essentially at the same rate. It’s not just ‘evil heroin pushers’, nor the deadliness of a particular drug (all drugs are becoming increasingly lethal). This suggests a general societal breakdown over the last five years in the state of Ohio.

Someone might want to ask supposed moderate Republican governor John Kasich how that happened.

*This counts cases where other drugs were present, not alcohol by itself.

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