In a meeting with the region’s Mayor’s last week, the conversation around the room turned to drug caseloads and trends among the popular drugs of choice in our respective communities.
Most of us are familiar with the explosion of opioids overdoses over the last several years that generated a lot of media attention and expanded our vocabulary to include new synthetic names like fentanyl and carfentanil — raising the stakes, and sadly the death toll for drug users.
All of a sudden the jump from pain-killing drugs to people-killing drugs became a very fine line and people from all walks of life were making headlines for slipping across that line unexpectedly due to the extra potency of the synthetics. These things pack a punch that people can’t see coming until it’s too late.
In response, Police and emergency responders added a new weapon to their arsenal for saving lives, Narcan, which can neutralize the opioid in the system before the body shuts down for good. The fact that Narcan is now available in many public venues speaks to how far the opioid crisis has crept into our lives.
I don’t want to fact check it (because confirming it would be too depressing) but I’m pretty sure Ohio is one of the states that leads the nation in opioid abuse. Not exactly the Top 10 list you want to find your home state in the lead on.
In the meantime, with all that emphasis on opioids, it seems that an old killer has climbed it’s way back to the top of the list — Methamphetamine.
The TV show Breaking Bad may have added some celebrity glamour to Meth but there’s nothing glamorous about the way it literally rots the body from the inside out. To willingly poison your body as your teeth and skin and organs rot away in a slow crawl towards death, speaks to the toxic allure of Meth and it’s unquenchable thirst.
Here’s the 2017 data from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations that Kent’s Police Chief Lee reports is consistent with the trends we’re seeing in Kent too.