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Substance Use Disorder in Ohio

Ohio is a midwestern state that links the East Coast to the rest of the country. Its economy is supported by everything from agriculture to manufacturing. It also has a large tourism industry provided by the beautiful north coast along Lake Erie, several large theme parks, and charming Amish communities scattered throughout the state’s rural areas. Columbus serves as the state capitol, but the Buckeye State also boasts many other large cities such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Akron.

While Ohio is a wonderful place to visit as well as reside in, it is not immune to substance use disorder. According to statistics provided by the Ohio Department of Health, 2020 saw the state’s highest year so far for unintentional drug overdose deaths with 5,017 people losing their lives. These deaths included fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine use, and it is believed that 200,000 Ohioans currently struggle with opioid addiction.

Fortunately, Ohio has help available for those dealing with substance use disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) states that Ohio has 450 drug rehab centers and behavioral services available to treat these addictions. This includes 100 detoxification centers as well as 450 outpatient services.

Tips That Help When Facing Addiction

Whether you find yourself struggling with substance use disorder or know a family member or dear friend facing addiction, there are symptoms to look for and steps to take that can help.

Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder in Yourself

When you have developed a substance use disorder, you will often notice several of the following symptoms:
• Feeling like you need the drug regularly
• Having intense urges to use the drug
• Needing more of the drug to get the same effect
• Taking larger amounts of the drug than you intended to
• Worrying about always having a supply of the drug on hand
• Spending money you don’t have on the drug
• Neglecting responsibilities such as work or avoiding social situations
• Continuing to use the drug even though you know it’s causing problems
• Resorting to stealing to get the drug
• Driving while under the influence
• Spending large amounts of time getting, using, and recovering from the drug

If you are the one struggling with an addiction, seek out a local support group. Ohio has 12-step programs available where you can meet with peers who understand exactly what you are going through. This support is crucial to successfully overcoming addiction. Avoid putting yourself in situations where you’ll be exposed to drug use. Instead, distract yourself by staying active. Ohio has 75 state parks offering hiking, camping, fishing, and other fun activities.

Recognizing Symptoms in Family Members

Here are some signs to look out for that will point to a substance use disorder:

• Problems with work or school when it comes to performance and attendance
• Physical health problems such as weight loss or gain, lack of energy, and red eyes
• Neglected appearance
• Changes in behavior such as being secretive and avoiding friends and family
• Money issues that include asking for money without a reasonable explanation or finding that money or household items are missing

If you see a loved one facing a substance use disorder, find help. Understand that their addiction affects everyone in the family. Drug rehab in Ohio includes professionals that can help you with intervention and refer your loved one for treatment. Most importantly, don’t be an enabler. Covering for them and making excuses for their behavior may seem like the right thing to do, but it allows them to avoid the real issues they face.

Why Get Help?

Substance use disorder has many consequences. It not only affects the individual, but it has a ripple effect among family and friends. Getting help in Ohio allows the entire circle of loved ones to heal.

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, you are putting your health in jeopardy. Drug addiction is often associated with other health issues such as heart and lung disease, cancer, and stroke and can increase the risk of contracting infections like hepatitis C and HIV.

Addiction can co-exist with mental issues. This includes depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. These mental conditions may have existed before the addiction, which means that they are a trigger for drug use. Individuals will turn to drugs as a way of self-medicating.

The effects of a substance use disorder don’t stop with the individual. They affect the entire family, including parents, a spouse, and children. You’ll notice a breakdown of the family relationships. A loving home can become strained or divided. Conflicts become a normal occurrence, and the trust begins to vanish. Communication becomes difficult, and marriages can come to an end. Seeking professional help can save these precious relationships.

Drug Rehab in Ohio

There are four main types of treatment for substance use disorder available in Ohio. The different types can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Finding the most effective treatment program depends on the individual’s needs and situation. Some clients require around-the-clock care while others find it best to be at home during the treatment program.


Detox is the first step in any recovery program. You need to rid your body of the substance and work past the need for more of the drug. This makes it the most important type of treatment available in Ohio. Most treatment centers require a detox treatment before beginning any of the other options available.

Short-term Inpatient Drug Rehab

Short-term inpatient drug rehab typically lasts one month or less. Even though the duration of the program is short, it is still effective. These programs help you determine the underlying issues of your disorder and the reasons for it. This means that you will have a better understanding of your triggers and will be able to recognize them. This makes sobriety easier to achieve. Results are reached through life skills training, counseling, and therapy.

Long-term Inpatient Drug Rehab

Long-term inpatient drug rehab programs last three to six months, but it is possible to continue for a year or longer. This is one of the most effective treatment programs available in Ohio. It offers the extensive structure that many clients require. Sobriety is maintained through routine, healthy habits, and structure. Several methods of treatment can be used during the program. This includes behavioral therapy, faith-based treatment, holistic treatment, and other non-traditional approaches.

Long-term programs look beyond the substance use disorder for additional contributing factors. This includes psychological, medical, vocational, social, and legal issues. Extended care is provided in a safe drug and alcohol-free environment with 24/7 support. That continuous availability of help is key for many people when it comes to overcoming drug addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment for substance use disorder is readily available in Ohio. It is ideal for mild to moderate substance use disorder issues, especially if they are caught early on. This is perfect for you if you are already motivated to stop, but you need a program flexible enough to work around your schedule.

This option offers drug treatment sessions along with support groups that you can attend throughout the week. You will be able to remain in your home and continue with your work and other responsibilities, but you are required to check in at scheduled times for counseling.

These treatment programs are offered in several levels of intensity with a variety of services. They typically focus on education, counseling, and a network of support. There are three main types to choose from, depending on your level of dependency.

Day Programs

Day programs offer the highest level of structure and care among outpatient treatments. In this program, you are committing to five to seven meetings each week. Meetings are held at a rehab facility, and they last several hours. Meetings consist of group counseling, ongoing therapy, biofeedback, and other therapies like music and art.

Clients return home between meetings whether that is with their family or in a sober living home. The time commitment involved limits your ability to work or attend school.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

This program is based on a treatment plan with set milestones in place. As you reach your milestones, your time commitment will decrease. This is perfect if you are serious about recovery, but you still have to work or go to school. You will be required to attend a few sessions each week that involve counseling, group therapy, education, and a 12-step program.

Continuing Care

Continuing care refers to care groups offering ongoing support. This option offers weekly meetings facilitated by a licensed therapist. Groups may be gender or age-specific, or they can focus on specific aspects of recovery. This treatment program is often recommended after completing one of the other options available.

Find the Help You Need in Ohio

Ohio’s drug issues are a big problem, and this isn’t a new worry for residents. Ohio is considered “ground zero” when it comes to the opioid addiction in the nation with 3,050 opioid-related deaths in the state during 2015 alone. Meth lab seizures increased by 36% from 2008 to 2011, and prescription drug abuse rose to between 5.02% and 8.13% in the Buckeye State during that same time period. This is why it is so important to get the rehab treatment you or a loved one needs in order to recover from substance use disorder. The effects of drug addiction can touch every aspect of your life while negatively affecting your family and friends. Seek the treatment Ohio has available today to help bring a brighter tomorrow to all.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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