Drug Misuse and Substance Use Disorders: A Look at the Midwest

The Recovery VillageDrug Rehab

A man holding his fingers together

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on drug misuse provides insight into the state of a serious problem, one that leads to many thousands of overdose deaths and emergency room visits every year. The CDC report is a snapshot of data from across the country, examining the challenges that individuals in specific parts of the country face. Governments also face challenges as they struggle with the substance misuse epidemic that has been a particular challenge since the 1990s. What can the CDC’s annual report tell us about substance use disorders in the Midwest?

The State of Drug Use in the US

Today’s drug crisis originated in the 1990s. At that time, doctors were apt to prescribe opioid drugs for pain. These drugs were highly addictive, and unfortunately, people did become addicted to them, experiencing a desire for more opioids that led to some people seeking out stronger substances such as heroin and, more recently, fentanyl. A CDC report stated that “between 1999 and 2016, more than 630,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States.” Even today, the average number of painkiller prescriptions per person in the country is 3.4. The overprescription of painkillers has led to a serious problem with prescription and illegal drug use.

Not only are individuals and governments dealing with overdoses, but they may also experience family troubles, children in foster care, babies born with a neonatal addiction and numerous nonfatal drug poisonings. In 2015, nearly 550,000 people visited an emergency department for drug-related causes. The addictions to prescription painkillers were followed by huge increases in deaths from heroin use, which was then followed by deaths from opioids such as fentanyl. In one recent year, 1 in 5 Americans had used illegal drugs or taken prescription drugs in a way that was not prescribed.

The State of the Midwest Drug Crisis

How does the Midwest fare when it comes to drug misuse?

Compared with other parts of the country, the Midwest has lower rates of all prescription and illegal drug misuse. However, according to the CDC report, there are more hospitalizations for opioid problems in the Midwest. The report states that “hospitalization rates for opioid-related poisonings ranged from 18.9 in the West to 26.1 in the Midwest.” In fact, all poisonings related to substance misuse were higher in the Midwest. Methadone overdoses are the lowest in the Midwest. Those in the Midwest are some of the least likely to use marijuana, falling a long way behind the West for marijuana use.

While the statistics for the Midwest overall do not look as bleak as those in some other regions, it is true that specific states such as Ohio have trouble coping with the opioid crisis. For example, according to a CDC report cited in Dispatch, “Ohio’s drug overdose deaths rose 39 percent — the third-largest increase among the states — between mid-2016 and mid-2017.” This rate is nearly triple the U.S. average. While Ohio has limited prescriptions and reduced deaths by prescribed opioid painkillers and heroin deaths are starting to abate, synthetic opioids continue to be a huge problem. For instance, fentanyl is now causing many deaths nationwide. The state is also moving to work with drug distributors to stop large orders of opioids in the hopes of finding others who are illegally distributing the drugs.

Man with baggie of drugs

The prescription opioid crisis has led to problems with heroin and fentanyl.

Who Uses Drugs in the Midwest?

While many of those who use drugs are young, white men, there are many women, younger people and seniors who also use drugs. In 2016, 20 percent of men and just more than 15 percent of women misused prescription or illegal drugs. In terms of the opioid crisis, both men and women have been prescribed painkillers.

What Age Groups Commonly Use These Drugs?

The report examines drug misuse by people from the ages of 12 to seniors. Unfortunately, there are young people such as teens who are misusing drugs. For instance, almost 7 percent of teens have used drugs. However, people in their late teens and early 20s have an increased likelihood of using drugs. Often, they access opioids in someone’s home, then become addicted and look to illegal drugs in pursuit of that elusive high.

Finding Help in the Midwest

Although the drug misuse problems are serious, there is still hope and help. Treatment programs can be successful and can create new opportunities for individuals who deal with a substance use disorder. Every year, more than 2 million people seek help for drug misuse. What are they looking for in a treatment facility?

Ohio Drug Rehab Options

When you are looking for solutions for a substance use disorder, entering treatment can help provide the medical, social and emotional assistance you need to become sober and stay that way.

What should you look for in an Ohio drug treatment center?

  • Support from medical professionals to stop using drugs in a safe way
  • A wide variety of intensive programs to help you initiate treatment
  • A consciousness of integrated therapies and treatment for dual diagnoses for those who have co-occurring disorders
  • Alternative therapies such as animal therapy, recreation or art therapy to provide a positive focal point during recovery
  • Aftercare programs that focus on enabling you to have a strong life after rehab and avoid relapsing into drug misuse once again

Laying the Groundwork: The Intentions Behind the CDC Report

The CDC’s report is designed to help prevent drug-related harm and overdose deaths. The organization accomplishes this task by conducting research, building a public capacity to manage drug-related problems through health interventions, supporting healthcare providers and others with guidance, and partnering with public safety organizations to improve responses to drug-related health problems. The goal is also to help people make choices that are better for their health.

If you are looking for a healthier life free from substances, The Recovery Village Columbus can help. We are an Ohio drug rehab facility that provides people with Ohio drug treatment resources and supports your sobriety. Contact The Recovery Village Columbus to learn more about our programs today.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village Columbus aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.