Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County Coroner, is committed to drawing attention to opioid overdose deaths, and TV 10 Columbus to reporting it, and rightly so, it’s a plague of a different kind. But something is missing from the regular updates and that’s data from Ohio’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Since 2010 Ohio has collected data on every controlled substance prescribed and sold in the state, at a cost of just over $1 billion a year to taxpayers. Yet no data is cross-referenced against these overdose deaths to tell Ohioans how many of these deaths come from prescription medication. Now after reducing prescribing by more than 30%, we’re starting to see where those overdose deaths are coming from, illegal and illicit opioids sold on the street. It may be an indirect inference, but these numbers don’t lie unless those behind them are lying to us.
Ohio data continues to show a reduction in prescribed opioids through tight control over supplies and prescribing. But these gains are not are translating to a reduction in drug overdose deaths as was initially stated. For the 1st two months of 2020, suicides are up 40% over 2019, showing no slow down in drug-related overdose deaths.
In the last seven years gambling in Ohio has skyrocketed.
“There’s more gambling availability now in Ohio than there’s ever been before,” Bruce Jones said.
Jones, with the Maryhaven Gambling Intervention Program, says that’s because of more accessibility like casinos, gaming and online betting.
“It’s right there with alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, opioids, hypnotics,” he said. “A behavioral addiction of gambling disorder.”
Pre-release data reported by the Associated Press on 2019 opioid overdose deaths indicates that for the first nine months of 2019, opioid overdose deaths rose grew at a faster rate when compared to the same time period in 2018.