Today, heroin-related deaths in Cuyahoga County exceed deaths by homicide and exceed deaths by motor vehicles. And statistics indicate this trend will only increase.
Heroin is right here in our county. It affects our children, our families, our friends and our colleagues. Many of us are unaware that this happens where we live, but heroin use statistics make it painfully obvious that heroin knows no bounds.
Heroin use often starts innocently enough: A prescription for opiate-based painkillers to manage pain after injury, surgery or dental procedure. Doctor prescribed, taken as directed. But then the pills run out. For an addict, the need does not. Heroin is an opiate, a highly addictive drug that mimics the effects of prescription painkillers. Once the prescription is gone, heroin is often cheaper and easier to get.
Prevention is key. We need to educate ourselves, know the warning signs of heroin use and take action. The signs of a heroin addict are hidden in plain sight. Being aware of these signs can help detour a path to addiction.
Addiction is powerful, and it is relentless, but it can be treated. Awareness, education and making resources readily available are critical to prevention and rehabilitation. No one wants to be an addict. It is up to us to help the ones in need, the ones we love, because very few can do it alone. Friends and parents of heroin addicts will tell you that you must be vigilant and ready to take the steps to save the life of someone you care about. It all starts with your initial effort - and there is hope.
As a community, we cannot solely arrest, medically treat, legislate or educate our way out of this, rather, it is all of these working toward the same goal: stopping the opiate and heroin epidemic.
Take the time to learn about heroin addiction and what you can do to stop heroin abuse in Cuyahoga County. Share this information with your friends and loved ones. Know the warning signs of heroin use. Then take that initial step to help save lives.
Together we can stop the Heroin epidemic.
ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County
2012 W. 25th Street, 6th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44113
The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board provides information about treatment centers and other resources for in Cuyahoga County.
1744 Payne Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
The 24/7 Crisis Hotline is an anonymous, confidential service. Talk with a licensed staff person who will listen to your concerns without judgment, assess your needs and recommend options and resources to help you.
Text: 741741 then text "FLS" in dialogue box
Opiate Collaborative of Cuyahoga County
The RX Drug Drop Box Program is an opportunity for residents to dispose of prescription drugs at drop boxes at participating law enforcement agencies across the county.
St. Vincent Charity Rosary Hall
216-363-2580 press 4 to speak with a Caregiver immediately
Rosary Hall is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center operated by St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland.
1320 Washington Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Stella Maris is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Cleveland that provides chemical dependency treatment and mental health services.
United Way 211
Call 211 (or 216-436-2000 in Cuyahoga County) to speak to an Information Specialist who will suggest agencies and other resources to assist you. This community service is provided by The United Way of Greater Cleveland.