Newswires
Historic Shift Occurring in Opiate vs. Alcoholism Stats  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

12/17/2014 -ATIN - In a major development, data out of Ohio is showing for the first time in many decades that statistically addiction to opiates is near to outstripping addiction to alcohol. This is probably the first time this has happened since the late 1800s when it was estimated that as many as a quarter of all U.S. workers, who worked for slave wages 12 hrs a day in sweatshops similar to the ones that exist today in Bangladesh and elsewhere, were addicted to opium - usually a liquid called Laudanum that was available in the Sears Catalogue and any "chemist" shop before drug prohibition. Drugs like Laudanum probably gave the U.S. workers the energy they needed to work 80 to 100 hours a week, sometimes more, before laws were passed decades later limiting the amount of hours for U.S. workers and guaranteeing them some time off. It used to be when Treatment Magazine was founded over ten years ago that alcoholism far outstripped all illegal drugs combined statistically, but now published reports out of Ohio, based on data gathered by Ohio agencies' publicly funded treatment, shows that addiction to opiates is running neck-and neck with alcohol now in the state in terms of who is receiving publicly funded care.

The Ohio Data

According an article by the Associated Press, AP, almost 90,000 people in Ohio were treated at publicly funded centers in that state's fiscal 2013 year and of those 33 percent received treatment for alcoholism while 32 percent received treatment for opiate addiction services. The 2013 figures on Ohio publicly funded treatment services shows that opiate addiction services are up nearly 30 percent since fiscal 2012 and up more than 100 percent, or double, the opiate addiction services provided in fiscal 2008. It is likely that statistics in other states, especially in the Northeast and along the East Coast are beginning to mirror those in Ohio and on the private side of the addiction treatment business there are many entrepreneurs that are investing in opiate oriented, medication assisted treatment operations. 

Medicaid Expansion

And with the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare that Ohio has been one of the relatively few states to sign up for, the Ohio agency that deal deals with addiction and mental health says that tens of thousands of more people are likely to take advantage of opiate-related addiction services in 2015, which is why Pickaway Area Recovery Services plans on expanding its residential treatment capacity in Pickaway and Fayette counties.

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Ted Jackson

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