HAMILTON (AP) — Heroin remains popular and widely available across most of Ohio, according to a state report on drug abuse trends.
The survey by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shows heroin availability increased in six of eight Ohio regions between January 2014 and June 2014, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported (http://bit.ly/194QO6m).
While heroin availability increased, officials said the availability of powdered cocaine and synthetic marijuana is falling in some regions.
The report reaffirms national and state trends indicating heroin and other opiates remain popular, said Eric Wandersleben, spokesman for Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“The findings underscore the importance of continuing to work diligently with other state and local partners to promote awareness, prevention education and access to treatment,” Wandersleben said.
More than 1,900 Ohio residents died from drug overdoses in 2012, the most recent statewide data available. More than 900 of those deaths were heroin overdoses, according to the Ohio attorney general’s office.
The two-year state budget proposed last week by Republican Gov. John Kasich calls for more spending on the overdose antidote naloxone as well as funds for specialty drug courts and treatment programs.
In the Cincinnati region, community treatment professionals said all illicit drugs remain highly available. They said brown and white powdered heroin were most common and had surpassed marijuana as the area’s most available drug.
The drug abuse report used data collected in a survey of hundreds of active and recovering drug users and treatment professionals, as well as information from coroner’s offices, courts, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and county crime labs.