Located in western Ohio, Dayton is the sixth-most populous city in the state. The city has a population of around 140,000 people, but the greater metropolitan area is home to nearly 800,000, making the Dayton region one of the largest areas in the state of Ohio. Because of its central location to other major areas in the midwest, drugs are frequently trafficked through the city.
Dayton residents suffer from some of the highest rates of poverty levels and crime in the nation, which likely contributes to the growing problem of substance abuse and addiction. From heroin to methamphetamine, illicit drug use is widespread.
Drug Addiction And Substance Abuse In Dayton
According to community professionals and individuals in recovery, many illicit drugs of abuse are available in Dayton. Heroin is described as being available anywhere and everywhere, with many citing increased use among young people.
Young people using illicit substances like heroin increases the risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD) in adulthood. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is also reported to be cut into heroin, increasing both the potency and risk of overdose.
While street availability of prescription opioids has decreased in Dayton, illicit Suboxone (buprenorphine) use is on the rise. This may be related to the prevalence of heroin addiction in the Dayton area. With multiple drugs entering the region, there have been several significant drug seizures in 2017 and 2018.
Drug Busts In Dayton
In a nearby county, there was a massive fentanyl bust in June 2018 worth over $3.5 million, which was reportedly trafficked into the area by a Mexican cartel. The bust was possible because officials surveyed a hotel in Butler township, just north of Dayton, and arrested four men suspected of trying to sell over 400 grams of fentanyl.
In August 2017, nine ounces of carfentanil, a powerful opioid stronger than morphine and fentanyl and typically used as an elephant tranquilizer, was seized as part of a sting operation. Carfentanil is often cut into heroin. Authorities commented on how the seizure of such a large quantity of carfentanil has the potential to save lives. In July 2017, five Dayton residents were arrested during a home search, resulting in the seizures of large amounts of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine.
What Substances Are Most Abused In Dayton?
Dayton has seen an increase in abuse of several illicit drugs. These drugs are reported to be widely available and account for many substance abuse problems in the area.
Some of the most common substances abused in Dayton and the surrounding area include:
- crack cocaine and cocaine
- heroin and fentanyl
- prescription opioids
- Suboxone (buprenorphine)
- methamphetamine (meth)
- benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin and Valium)
Alcoholism And Alcohol Abuse In Dayton
Although legal and socially acceptable, heavy alcohol use can take a troubling turn and result in abuse and addiction. Millions of people suffer from alcohol use disorders each year, which is the medical diagnosis for drinking too much. Part of the problem with alcohol abuse is how easy it is to get, especially on college campuses.
Some experts report on the dangerous combination of alcohol availability and college students in Ohio. Over 50 percent of Ohio college students will binge drink at some point, which is defined as five or more drinks within two hours for men and four drinks for women. With an abundance of liquor stores nearby, drinking is part of the college lifestyle. But, it can have dire consequences. About 1,825 college students die each year from alcohol-related injury in the U.S.
Dayton Crack Cocaine And Cocaine Abuse
Many people in the Dayton area suggest cocaine is like marijuana: it’s not frowned upon, so it’s available and commonly abused. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office reported cocaine was present in almost 50 percent of the 168 drug-related deaths in the first half of 2017. Cocaine is usually snorted, but it is also reportedly injected or mixed with other drugs like heroin and marijuana.
Like cocaine, crack cocaine is highly available in the Dayton region. Some individuals in recovery compare crack dealers to flies in parking lots in the summertime: they’re everywhere. Crack cocaine is highly addictive because it produces a powerful, but short-lived high. The drug is usually smoked and is often cut with additives that include caffeine, diltiazem, levamisole and local anesthetics like lidocaine and procaine.
Heroin And Fentanyl Abuse And Addiction In Dayton
Both treatment providers and individuals in recovery report heroin is both available and popular in Dayton. Law enforcement, however, claims much of the heroin in the Dayton region has been replaced by the more powerful opioid fentanyl.
While heroin was found in several cases examined by local crime labs, fentanyl was found in more. There were nearly 600 reported cases of fentanyl during early 2017. Out of the 168 drug-related deaths in the county where Dayton is located, over 75 percent were associated with fentanyl, while only 19 percent involved heroin.
Prescription Opioid Abuse In Dayton
Many treatment providers in the Dayton region say young people are frequently entering treatment with an opioid use disorder, which is the medical diagnosis for an addiction to opioids. Prescription opioids are likely responsible because the local coroner’s office reported at least one prescription opioid was found in nearly 50 percent of the drug-related deaths between January and June of 2017.
Percocet (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) are the most commonly abused prescription opioids in Dayton. Other prescription opioids abused in the Dayton area include OxyContin (oxycodone), Opana (oxymorphone), Ultram (tramadol), Dilaudid (hydromorphone) and morphine.
Dayton Suboxone Abuse
Although Suboxone (buprenorphine) is technically a prescription opioid used to treat opioid dependence, it is also commonly abused in the Dayton area. Local treatment providers explain most of their patients are taking Suboxone, but they end up selling it. Crime labs suggest this is true, with 60 cases of buprenorphine reported in the first half of 2017.
The rise in Suboxone abuse seems to be related to the increase in heroin availability and use in the area. Some treatment providers, however, insist people are actually addicted to Suboxone alone. Law enforcement claim they find Suboxone “strips” when they search drug dealers. Whatever the case, Suboxone is widely abused orally or via injection.
Benzodiazepine Abuse In Dayton
Like Suboxone and prescription opioids, other prescriptions drugs are commonly abused in the area, including benzodiazepines. Both treatment providers and their patients report “benzos” are relatively easy to obtain without a prescription. In the 168 drug-related deaths recorded in Montgomery County in the first half of 2017, 43 percent were related to benzodiazepines.
Xanax (alprazolam) is the most commonly abused benzodiazepine in the Dayton area. Crime labs reported almost 240 benzodiazepine cases in the first few months of 2017, with nearly 70 percent containing Xanax. Like Xanax, Klonopin (clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are also widely available for illicit use and abuse.
Dayton Marijuana Abuse
Although marijuana is becoming more acceptable, like alcohol or cigarettes, it can still be abused and lead to addiction. Both flower marijuana and potent extracts and concentrates are widely available because of the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio. This includes edibles and other forms of marijuana in the Dayton area.
Of the positive drug tests reported by a local court in early 2017, almost 60 percent reported positive for THC, the intoxicating chemical component in marijuana. In 24 positive juvenile drug tests, an overwhelming 98.8 percent tested positive for THC. Marijuana in the area is reported to be highly potent, and is usually smoked, but can also be orally ingested in other forms.
Dayton Methamphetamine Addiction
Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive drug that is widely available in the Dayton region. Individuals in recovery report many people abusing methamphetamine are on Vivitrol, which blocks the euphoria caused by opioids and heroin, so they switch to meth for a fix. They also report that people come from all over to score meth in Dayton because it’s potent and easy to obtain.
In the first half of 2017, local crime labs reported over 550 cases of meth, with nearly 60 percent taking place in Montgomery County and Dayton. During the same time frame, there were nearly 20 overdose deaths associated with meth use. In Dayton, meth is available in both powdered and crystal forms. Crystal meth is mostly trafficked into Ohio by Mexican cartels, while powdered meth (“shake-and-bake”) is locally produced.
Dayton Drug Overdoses
The projected total of drug overdose deaths in Montgomery County was at 128, as of June 2018. Nearly 20 people have died every month leading up to June. Drug overdose deaths continue to rise in the Dayton area.
Consider drug-related death totals in Dayton from previous years:
- 2017: 566 deaths
- 2016: 349 deaths
- 2015: 259 deaths
- 2014: 264 deaths
- 2013: 226 deaths
- 2012: 162 deaths
- 2011: 127 deaths
Besides the small difference between 2014 to 2015, there has been a steady rise in drug overdose deaths in Montgomery County over the past seven years. The only way to prevent overdose is to stop drug use. This can be hard without help, because substance use disorders change how the brain works.
Understanding Substance Use Disorders
Substance use turns into addiction when it begins to cause problems at home, work or in other areas of day-to-day life. A person suffering from a substance use disorder lacks control over drug or alcohol use and continues to use despite harmful consequences. They compulsively use drugs or alcohol and experience intense cravings to use more.
Because of how addiction affects the brain, substance use disorders change:
- stress levels and management
Substance use disorders also cause tolerance, which means the person may need more of a drug to achieve the desired high, and dependence. Dependence means the person will suffer uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal when they abruptly stop use. The good news is substance use disorders can be effectively treated with a combination of medications, therapy and support.
The Bluffs Rehab: An Ohio Drug And Alcohol Rehab Center
Located opposite Dayton in Ohio is an inpatient addiction treatment center called The Bluffs. The Bluffs offers a medically supervised detox program to help those suffering from addiction manage withdrawal and prepare for treatment. Following the detox program, people can enter a 28- to 34-day treatment program that implements evidence-based practices and therapies to treat the person as a whole.
With integrated treatment by a variety of professionals, The Bluffs can address both substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health conditions (also called dual diagnosis).
Other integrated treatment options may include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- family support program
- individualized treatment plans
- medication-assisted therapy
Because The Bluffs is situated on rolling hills of wooded forest, there are outdoor activities available to promote healthy lifestyles and help people break free from addiction and achieve a balanced life in recovery. Learn how to cope with stressful situations, change for the better and successfully manage addiction by contacting The Bluffs today.
- Dayton Daily News — 5 Big Dayton Area Drug Busts…, Student death has area colleges reevaluating binge drinking
- Dayton and Montgomery County: Public Health — Accidental Overdose Death Totals
- Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network — Drug Abuse Trends in the Dayton Region
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — College Drinking