LISBON - Continuing the state's efforts to address the growing problem of prescription drug addiction, Orman Hall Director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) announced in a recent press release the launch of Don't Get Me Started, a statewide public service campaign that speaks to young adults and their friends and family, in partnership with the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA).
According to the Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, in 2007, accidental drug overdose became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record.
In addition to a dedicated web site (www.dontgetmestartedohio.org), highlighting Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Boards in each county and a link to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for treatment options across the state, the campaign will also utilize a dedicated Facebook Page that will provide useful information on the state's opiate abuse epidemic (including localized treatment and support resources) and serves as a sounding board for those touched by opiate abuse to engage with the campaign and share their stories with others.
On the "Don't Get Me Started" website, Ohio residents can watch videos of five Ohioans who each share a unique story about how prescription drug addiction has impacted their lives.
The site features an interactive map of local Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Boards; a link to treatment options in each county; information about the opiate abuse epidemic around the state; and links to other partners in the war on drugs, including GenerationRx, a joint venture between Cardinal Health and the Ohio State School of Pharmacy, as well as the Ohio Department of Health Prescription for Prevention campaign.
Governor John R. Kasich commented on the campaign, "Prescription drug abuse has besieged communities across the state, destroying the lives of young people and adults.
"We've made tremendous strides to improve access to treatment, shut down illegal pill mills, go after doctors over-prescribing prescription painkillers, and educate young adults statewide about the dangers of prescription opiate abuse. This lifesaving effort will grow even stronger through this campaign."
The campaign will be featured on posters at hundreds of convenience stores and other organizations around the state, each with a link to an individual's personal story; limited billboards in highly affected counties; online banner ads on music, social media and gaming sites popular with young adults. In Columbiana County, community leadership team members of the ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team) Coalition are distributing campaign posters.
"In a little more than a decade, there's been a 900 percent increase in the number of prescription opiates prescribed for pain per Ohio resident," said Cheri L. Walter, chief executive officer of OACBHA. "We applaud the ODADAS and Ohio's Alcohol and Drug Addiction Boards and their local partners for demonstrating a strong commitment to addressing the opiate epidemic in Ohio."
Here are some facts regarding prescription drug use in Ohio:
- Between 1999 and 2009, there was a 335 percent increase in Ohio's death rate due to drug poisonings. (Ohio Dept. of Health Office of Vital Statistics)
- Between 2006 and 2009 there were 635 homicide deaths and 1,377 drug overdose deaths. (Ohio Dept. of Health Office of Vital Statistics)
- According to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, in 2010, there were 776,163,404 doses of opioids dispensed legally in Ohio.
- Between 2003 and 2011among persons aged 12 or older who used painkillers for non-medical purposes, 55 percent obtained them free from a friend or relative; 17 percent were stolen from a friend or relative; 11 percent were bought from a friend or relative; 5 percent were prescriptions from a doctor, and 4 percent were purchased from a drug dealer or stranger.
- Ohio is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the total number of pharmacy-related robberies.
- According to the Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2007), 27 percent of Ohio's students were using illegal prescription drugs.
- SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that there were 2,700 first time teen prescription drug users in the U.S. per day.
ODADAS Director Orman Hall added, "The steps we are taking to wipe out this opiate epidemic have to include less opiate prescribing and effective addiction treatment for Ohioans who need it.
"With support across state government and in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, we will change the course of opiate addiction, whether it's from painkillers or heroin."
For more information, go to the "Don't Get Me Started" website listed above; visit the Board's website at www.ccmhrsb.org or call the Board at 330-424-0195.
To join in the prescription opiate conversation online, visit www.facebook.com/dontgetmestartedohio.