Nearly 3 in 10 Ohio adults (26 percent) have a family member or friend who has experienced problems as a result of misusing prescription pain reliever, according to the 2016 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP).
That's higher than in 2014, when only 2 in 10 Ohio adults (18 percent) reported this.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than 3,000 Ohioans died from an unintentional drug overdose in 2015, up from 2,500 in 2014.
"Drug overdose deaths are particularly high in Ohio," says Kelly Firesheets, Senior Program Officer, Interact for Health. "In 2014, the state had the fifth highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation."
In 2015, 85 percent of Ohio drug overdose deaths were from opioid use – either the misuse of prescribed opioids or the use of heroin.
O'dell M. Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President/CEO of Interact for Health, says "The Board and staff of Interact for Health are pleased to provide this data to inform and support our neighbors and those who are working to address this crisis."
2 in 10 know someone who has used heroin
OHIP also asked Ohio adults if they had any family members or friends who had experienced problems as a result of using heroin. In 2016, more than 2 in 10 (23 percent) said yes. This is about the same as in 2015, but higher than in 2014 when 14 percent said yes.
Percentage knowing someone who overdosed remains high
OHIP asked adults who knew someone who had problems from misusing these drugs if they had any friends or family members who had overdosed. More than 4 in 10 of these Ohio adults (42 percent) knew someone who had overdosed due to misusing a pain drug. For heroin, that percentage was more than 6 in 10 (63 percent). Both percentages are about the same as they were in 2015.
More women, younger adults know someone with opioid problems
Women were more likely than men to know someone who had problems from opioid misuse or heroin use. Reported problems with drugs also varied by age. About 3 in 10 adults ages 18 to 45 knew someone who had problems from opioid misuse or heroin use. This compares with 2 in 10 adults ages 46 to 64 and about 1 in 10 adults older than 65.
For more information about Ohioans' drug use, click here.