Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substances for mood-altering purposes. This umbrella term covers a wide variety of substances.

Abused substances can be legally purchased, such as alcohol or prescription drugs. They can also be illegal street drugs like cocaine, heroin, or fentanyl.

In the United States, substance abuse kills more people every year than car accidents, guns, or murder. In 2017, Ohio had the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the country.

While the substance abuse statistics we are about to discuss are certainly daunting, it’s important to know that help is available. Vertava Health Ohio, located in Sherrodsville, Ohio, is one of the many treatment facilities that provide addiction programs to help individuals overcome substance use disorders.

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Opioid Epidemic In Ohio

Opioid-related deaths are the highest out of all drug-overdose-related deaths in Ohio. In 2017, fentanyl and other opioids were involved in 71 percent of the state’s overdose deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62 percent of the people in Ohio who died of fentanyl or heroin overdose had a prescribed record of at least one opioid.

In 2017, Ohio physicians wrote 63 out of the 100 prescriptions given out nationwide for high-dose opium pills. People who are prescribed these powerful painkillers can become addicted. When their prescription ends, they often turn to the street to find an alternative high.

The street is where fentanyl has become very popular. People believe they are buying heroin or other opiates, but their drugs are laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is double the potency of heroin and is extremely dangerous and can even be deadly.

Additional Substances Of Abuse In Ohio

While opiates are the leading abused substance in Ohio, there are still other problem drugs in the state. Alcohol, marijuana, and other drug overdoses continue to show up across the country.

While these additional drugs are not deemed epidemics like opioids, they still create problems for Ohio residents and should not be overlooked.


According to the CDC, approximately 80,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive drinking. Alcohol-related deaths are the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the United States.

Alcohol abuse and addiction statistics in the state of Ohio include:

  • More than 720,000 individuals meet the criteria for binge drinking
  • 15 percent of male and 14 percent of female high school students in Ohio reported they had four or more drinks of alcohol in a row within the last month
  • 19.2 percent of adults in Ohio are excessive drinkers (the US average is 18 percent)
  • 35 percent of deaths in Ohio are related to alcohol (the US average is 31 percent)


Marijuana is not legal in Ohio. However, it has been decriminalized. In 2019, the Ohio General Assembly bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol oil, or CBD. The state has also been dropping misdemeanor marijuana cases and taking a closer look at illegal marijuana distribution.

Additional marijuana statistics in Ohio include:

  • Although illegal, at least one in seven Ohio residents have used marijuana in the last year, according to 2015 data
  • From 2015-2016, the rate of adults smoking marijuana increased by 14.9 percent
  • Advocates for the legalization of marijuana are gathering petition signatures to have it placed on the 2020 ballot, meaning marijuana abuse will likely increase in the state

Ohio Substance Abuse Treatment Statistics

The average rate of substance overdose-related deaths in the United States was at a rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2017. In Ohio, that rate was doubled, with 39.2 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2017.

The high numbers in Ohio have to do with a combination of factors. There is a lot of access to drugs and a lack of addiction-related awareness. These problems lead many residents to deny or fail to seek help for their substance abuse problems.

According to SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Barometer in 2014, 76,000 adolescents and 267,000 adults living in Ohio reported using illicit drugs. Based on this data, both adult and adolescent admissions into substance abuse treatment facilities was 37,024 in 2014.

The following is a breakdown of the addiction treatment sought in Ohio in 2014 based on the drug of abuse:

  • alcohol only: 5,026
  • a co-occurring condition with alcohol: 5,731
  • heroin: 10,415
  • other opiates: 3,678
  • cocaine: 2195
  • marijuana 7,446
  • methamphetamine/amphetamine: 468
  • tranquilizers, hallucinogens, sedatives: 337
  • other drugs: 1,728

Opioid addiction was the most common reason for admission into a treatment program, with an estimated 14,093 admits in 2014. This number is only a tiny fraction of the residents in need of drug and alcohol treatment services.

Today, the numbers of those suffering from substance abuse have only climbed. In 2003, 710 drug-related deaths were reported as compared to the 947 reported in 2017.

Vertava Health Ohio Substance Abuse Treatment In Ohio

If you or someone you love is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, contact Vertava Health Ohio treatment center today. Vertava Health Ohio offers an integrated treatment program and recovery curriculum that teaches patients essential skills throughout each step of the recovery process.

Recovery is not an easy process, but at Vertava Health Ohio, the treatment team is equipped to help treat substance abuse and addiction. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan that will best fit his or her individual needs.

Treatment service options at Vertava Health Ohio may include:

If you or someone you love needs help, contact Vertava Health Ohio today. The quality of each program and the combination of treatment options are vital to the recovery process. Our treatment specialists are prepared to help you or your loved one begin the recovery process today.