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Ohio is located in the Midwestern United States, and is the 34th most extensive, 7th most populous, and 10th most densely populated state in the nation. Ohios capital and largest city is Columbus, and the center of population is located in Morrow County. The estimated population of Ohio in 2012 was 11,544,225. Ohio's geographic location is an asset to the economy in the state, as the state is linked to both the Northeast and the Midwest, allowing a large amount of cargo and business traffic to pass through its borders along its well-developed highways. Lake Erie in the northern part of Ohio has 312 miles of coastline in the state, also allowing for numerous cargo ports. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River, and otherwise the state is bordered by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ontario Canada, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Ohio Drug Use Trends

The Fight against Heroin Addiction

Ohio is home to a thriving illegal drug market. The leading drugs of addiction in the state include marijuana, heroin, alcohol and prescription medication. State officials have seen the need to increase efforts in drug use prevention, education and treatment. In 2013, Ohio's Attorney General created a new Heroin Unit to assist residents with law enforcement, legal services and outreach assistance. As the prescription drug epidemic has spread across the country Ohio has experienced its fair share of the fallout. Many residents have become dependent on prescription pain medication have turned to heroin as a cheaper substance of abuse. Heroin as become a major problem throughout the state reaching suburbs and small towns. While this newly formed unite will not eradicate Ohio's heroin addiction problem, it provides residents with services to prevent addiction and help save lives.

  • The newly created Ohio Heroin Unit lirovides residents with resources including:
  • BCI investigative and laboratory services
  • Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assistance
  • lirosecution suliliort
  • Outreach and education services

During 2012, one of the leading reasons behind Ohio drug rehab enrollments was heroin addiction. 12,549 individuals entered Ohio drug rehab programs to receive treatment for heroin addiction. This made up 17.7% of all Ohio drug and alcohol rehab admissions during 2013. Heroin addiction treatment is critical to achieving sobriety; without drug detox and addiction rehabilitation services the resident will continue to abuse heroin. The time and resources one invests in their sobriety pays dividends in achieving a clean and sober life, developing new life skills to remain drug-free and improved mental and physical health.

Marijuana Trends in Ohio

One of the state's most commonly abused substances is marijuana. As the state's most prevalent drug of abuse, marijuana has become so popular that many residents view it as a benign substance. Utilizing Ohio's fertile farm land, local marijuana growers contribute to the state's escalating marijuana addiction problem. Domestically grown marijuana is also being produced using hydroponics where the substance is grown in-doors, making detection and eradication of the plants more difficult. Additionally, the drug is smuggled into Ohio by Mexican cartels through southern states. Bulk shipments of marijuana are cultivated locally as well as brought into the state by various criminal groups ranging in amounts of ounces to kilos. In June 2014, Ohio State Highway Patrol made their second largest marijuana bust in the state's history. Using a drug-sniffing canine, the Ohio State Highway Patrol was able to obtain probable cause to search the vehicle. Individuals traveling from out of state were headed to Ohio with an estimated $11.6 million dollars worth of marijuana weighing 2,330 pounds in a U-Haul.

The lax view on the dangers of marijuana use has lead to many Ohio residents requiring drug rehabilitation to overcome their marijuana addiction problem. Marijuana addiction was the most commonly cited substance of addiction among Ohio drug rehab admissions in 2012. During that year, 23% (16,364 individuals) of all Ohio drug rehab enrollments were for marijuana addiction. 73.7% of those receiving marijuana addiction treatment services in Ohio during 2012 were male and 26.3% were female. The largest age group enrolled in treatment for marijuana addiction during 2012 was between 21-25 years old.

Preventing Drug Addiction in Ohio

In an ongoing effort to prevent future substance use, abuse and addiction the Attorney General of Ohio allocated $3.7 million dollars in drug use prevention grants between 2012 and 2013. This funding went to support 182 local law enforcement agencies, supported the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) school program as well as school resource officers who worked closely with an estimated 421,000 students during that timeframe. The funding for the D.A.R.E. program provided students with school-based programs, education on drugs and the tools they needed to make healthy choices and stay substance use. During this time, more than 100 individuals were trained as Ohio school resource officers and helped to distribute Ohio's drug abuse prevention message throughout the state.

Ohio Drug Statistics
Population in Ohio: 11,464,042
State Prison Population in Ohio: 44,806
Probation Population in Ohio: 227,891
Violent Crime Rate in Ohio:
National Ranking: 28
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Ohio:
Cocaine seizures in Ohio: 334.8 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Ohio: 11.3 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Ohio: 0.7 kgs./105 du
Marijuana seizures in Ohio: 1,937.3 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Ohio: 0.0 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Ohio: 0.0 kgs./34,370 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Ohio: 128
(DEA, Ohio, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Ohio:

  • Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are the predominant drug threats in the state of Ohio.
  • The most violent crimes in Ohio are a result of cocaine and crack cocaine distribution and abuse.
  • Cocaine is brought in from the Southwest Border to cities throughout Ohio as well as to Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, where it is then distributed to Ohio cities.
  • The rising availability of high-purity, low cost heroin in Ohio is creating a large user population with a greater physical risk to users, who are younger than ever before.
  • In the northern region of Ohio, South American and Mexican black tar heroin are prevalent, while in the southern Ohio region, Mexican black tar heroin is predominant. Mexican brown powder heroin also is a problem in both regions of Ohio.

  • Dominican criminal groups control the distribution of South American heroin in Ohio.
  • Mexican criminal groups control the distribution of Mexican black tar heroin in Ohio.
  • At the retail-level, Dominican, Mexican, and inner-city criminal groups distribute heroin in Ohio.
  • Marijuana is the most abused drug in Ohio.
  • Ohio is a source area for marijuana cultivation, and is also a distribution point, for Mexican marijuana from the Southwest Border.
  • The rural areas of southern Ohio provide an adequate environment for marijuana outdoor cultivation.
  • The use of hydroponics and other modernized indoor growing techniques produce sinsemilla with a high THC and this continues to increase in Ohio.

  • Cocaine is brought into Ohio from the Southwest Border. Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, also act as transshipment points and distribution centers for cocaine shipped from the Southwest Border.
  • Mexican criminal groups and, to a lesser degree, other ethnic criminal groups are the principal transporters and distributors of wholesale multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine in Ohio.
  • Average cocaine purity in Ohio is 70% and crack cocaine purity is 66%.

  • South American and Mexican black tar heroin are in use in the northern Ohio region and Mexican black tar heroin is predominant in the southern Ohio region.
  • Heroin is brought in from the Southwest Border to cities throughout Ohio as well as to Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, where it is then distributed to Ohio cities.
  • Dominican criminal groups control the distribution of South American heroin in Ohio, while Mexican criminal groups control the distribution of Mexican black tar heroin in Ohio.
  • At the retail-level, Dominican, Mexican, and inner-city criminal groups distribute heroin in Ohio.
  • Heroin wholesale traffickers make us of major Ohio cities, such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo as distribution centers for smaller cities in Ohio.

  • Methamphetamine manufacturing has held firm due to recent pseudoephedrine sales restrictions at Ohio pharmacies.
  • Small "Mom and Pop" and "Tweaker" operations continue to manufacture methamphetamine in small one to two ounce quantities for personal use and for distribution at the local level in Ohio.
  • Primary suppliers of methamphetamine in Ohio are Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
  • Average purity of methamphetamine in Ohio is 70%.
  • There were 128 meth lab incident in Ohio in 2007.

  • The Northern Border of Ohio in New York acts as a transshipment point for predatory and club drugs, such as MDMA, GHB, Ketamine, and LSD.
  • Laboratories in the Netherlands and Belgium are transporting club drugs to Ohio through distribution centers in Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
  • Club drugs are popular among young adults and juveniles, especially in the urban areas of Ohio.
  • Most MDMA traffickers in Ohio are independent entrepreneurs.
  • Retail dealers of MDMA in Ohio are typically suburban teenagers that are high school or college students.

  • The rural areas of Ohio provide an adequate environment for outdoor cultivation of marijuana, mainly in southern Ohio.
  • The use of hydroponics and other modern indoor growing techniques in Ohio produce sinsemilla with a high THC content, and this continues to increase.
  • Marijuana transported into Ohio from the Southwest Border is mainly distributed by Mexican and inner-city criminal groups.

  • The diversion and abuse of OxyContin represent a significant drug threat in Ohio.
  • OxyContin, a powerful pain reliever whose effects are the same as other opiate derivatives, is obtained legally through prescriptions as well as illegally on the street.
  • Formerly seen as a drug of abuse primarily among the Caucasian population in Ohio, law enforcement officials in Ohio report an escalation in abuse of OxyContin among African Americans.
  • Per reports from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, youth abusers of OxyContin have begun abusing heroin since they can no longer obtain or afford OxyContin.
  • Continued incidents of overdoses and drug-related deaths from heroin were reported throughout Ohio during 2006.
  • A direct connection between abuse of heroin and drug-related robberies in Ohio has been established.

  • The abuse and diversion of oxycodone, hydrocodone, benzodiazepines (Valium and Xanax) and the generic equivalent, alprazolam, are escalating throughout Ohio.
  • Primary methods of diversion of pharmaceuticals in Ohio are illegal sales and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping, and robberies.
  • Per reports from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, youth abusers of OxyContin will begin abusing heroin when they can no longer obtain or afford OxyContin.
  • A direct connection between abuse of OxyContin and drug-related robberies in Ohio has been established.

  • In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or "MET". This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. Since the inception of the MET Program, there have been seven MET deployments in the State of Ohio; Toledo, Cleveland, East Cleveland, Jefferson County, Lincoln Heights, Warren, Youngstown and Steubenville.
  • There were 664 drug violation arrests in Ohio in 2007.

  • HIDTA: During June 1999, ONDCP designated areas within northern Ohio as the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (Ohio HIDTA).
  • The HIDTA region in Ohio was expanded during 2004 to include central and southern Ohio counties.
  • The Ohio HIDTA is made up of the Ohio counties; Cuyahoga, Lucas, Mahoning, Stark, Summit, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Warren and Montgomery.
  • Currently the following agencies are assigned responsibilities in the Ohio HIDTA program: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigations, and other local police departments and law enforcement agencies.
  • State Policy Offices : Ohio

    • Governor's Office Office of the Governor
      State Capitol
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-3555
    • State Legislative Contacts Legislative Information Office
      State House
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-8842
      Assistance in identifying legislation from the current General Assembly
    • Ohio Legislative Service Commission Library
      Riffe Center
      77 South High Street, Ninth Floor
      Columbus, OH 43266
      (614) 466-7434
      Assistance in identifying legislation prior to the current General Assembly
    • State Drug Program Coordinator Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
      Two Nationwide Plaza, 12th Floor
      280 North High Street
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-3445

    State Criminal Justice Offices : Ohio

    • Attorney General's Office State Office Tower, 17th Floor
      30 East Broad Street
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-3376
    • Crime Prevention Office Ohio Crime Prevention Association
      1560 Fishinger Road
      Columbus, OH 43221
      (614) 459-0580
    • Statistical Analysis Center Research and Statistics
      Office of Criminal Justice Services
      400 East Town Street, Suite 120
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-0310
    • BJA Strategy Preparation Agency Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Services
      400 East Town Street, Suite 120
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-7782
    • Judicial Agency Supreme Court
      State Office Tower
      30 East Broad Street
      Columbus, OH 43266-0419
      (614) 466-2653
    • Corrections Agency Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
      1050 Freeway Drive North
      Columbus, OH 43229
      (614) 431-2762

    State Health Offices : Ohio

    • RADAR Network Agency Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
      Two Nationwide Plaza, 12th Floor
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-6379
    • HIV-Prevention Program Office of Public Affairs
      Ohio Department of Health
      246 North High Street, Seventh Floor
      P.O. Box 118
      Columbus, OH 43266-0118
      (614) 644-8562
    • Drug and Alcohol Agency Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
      Two Nationwide Plaza, 12th Floor
      280 North High Street
      Columbus, OH 43215
      (614) 466-3445

    State Education Office : Ohio

    • State Coordinator for Drug-Free Schools Department of Education
      Division of Education Services
      65 South Front Street, Room 719
      Columbus, OH 43266-0308
      (614) 466-3708

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    Drug Rehab and Treatment Facts Ohio

    • In 2004, 63.1% of those in addiction treatment located in Ohio were male.
    • 36.9% of the individuals in drug addiction treatment residing in Ohio during 2004 were female.
    • The largest age group admitted into to drug rehab during 2004 in Ohio was between the ages of 21-25 (16.2%).
    • The second largest age group attending drug rehabilitation in Ohio during 2004 were between the ages of 31-35 (13.5%).
    • 70% of the individuals in drug treatment located in Ohio during 2004 were Caucasian.

    Drug Facts

    The effects that were found in the studies done on infants and children who were exposed to these various substances shocked and alarmed society. Political leaders, community organizations, and religious associations all began to express their opinions on the subject. This is were the claims-making process began. People felt that the babies that were being born to these mothers were subjected involuntarily to these dangerous substances and through no choice of their own they were made to endure the long-term consequences. As society began to recognize the problems brought about by substance abusing pregnant women what was once a social issue became defined as a social problem. These pregnant women were creating a problem that would effect American communities socially, politically, and economically. Socially, the problem impacts both the mother and the child. The stereotypes that exist are that drug abuse is predominantly a problem effecting the lower class. The mothers who are unable to afford prenatal care and substance abuse treatment are seen as a burden to society. Economically, the burden is placed on society when a child is born to a drug addicted mother. Long-term medical care of these children is often related to increased health-care costs. Often, when mothers are deemed unfit to care for their child, the government is the party that absorbs the costs of the child's care. Then there is the political debate regarding the rights of a fetus that this problem has brought to society's attention. Many people feel that the fetus is separate from the mother and deserves special protection against the actions of the pregnant mother. Other's feel that the fetus is not separate and can only been seen as such when it is viable and able to live outside of the womb. These people feel that any laws creating fetal rights would be an infringement on the rights of the pregnant woman. They feel that society has no right to define acceptable behavior for pregnant women and any law put in place in order to do so would ultimately end up overturning the Rowe vs. Wade decision and denying women the right to choose.
    The annual number of new cocaine users has generally increased over time. In 1975 there were 30,000 new users. The number increased from 300,000 in 1986 to 361,000 in 2000.
    Equipment needed to produce methamphetamine includes Pyrex dishes, jugs, paper towels, coffee filters, thermometers, cheesecloth, rubber tubing, pails, tape, strainers, aluminium foil, propane cylinders, hotplates, plastic storage containers, measuring cups, laboratory glassware, and heating mantles. Chemicals beyond those identified as precursors include alcohol, toluene (paint thinner), sulphuric acid (battery acid), salt, iodine, lithium (from batteries) anhydrous ammonia (farm fertilizer) hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid or pool cleaner), sodium hydroxide (lye), acetone, lantern fuel and kitty litter. Obviously, these products have legitimate uses, and it is the collective presence of these products that signals the intended use. Law enforcement may encounter supplies of such materials in combinations or in circumstances which lead to a reasonable belief that the purpose of possession is to produce methamphetamine.
    Hydrocodone abuse is an increasing trend in non-chronic pain suffering persons. The abuser of these drugs has been shown not to be the inner city youth, but instead a famous actor, a suburban real estate agent, or your next door neighbor. First time abuse of these drugs has been surging, most commonly with the oxycodone and Hydrocodone type painkillers. The two differ slightly in their chemical makeup but have a similar effect on the body.

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