Everyone always says “you’re a numbers guy.” Okay, let’s talk about some numbers.
- A 36% increase in 2016
- From 2000 to 2015, a 642% increase
- 8 billion (with a “B”)
I know what you’re thinking – “what investment is this?” Wrong.
- A 36% increase from 2015 to 2016 in the number of people who died from an overdose in Ohio
- A 642% increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses in Ohio from 2000 to 2015
- 8 billion (!) opioid pills were prescribed across Ohio between 2011 and 2015
- 70% of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system are children of parents with opioid addictions
Here’s another…in 2016 alone, 2.3 million Ohio patients – roughly 20% of the state’s population – were prescribed opioids! Pain pills, getting people addicted which is leading them to fentanyl and heroin. No matter your gender, ethnicity, or financial means, we all have physical pain in our bodies. If you’ve been injured, had surgery, or just have a chronic issue, there is a great chance you have been (or will be) prescribed an opioid to treat and “manage” that pain. That’s what happened to Tyler Campbell. His father Wayne can tell you how that turned out since Tyler is no longer with us. This was a young man with kindness in his heart, intelligence in his head, and determination in his eyes, just trying to be the best college student and football player he could be. A shoulder injury led to pain pills prescribed by a team doctor, and just a few short years later, a drug overdose took his life. Ask around, and if people are willing to talk about it, this is happening to a family you know.
This is not a drug problem – it’s a community problem. I encourage you to educate yourself. Read Dreamland by Sam Quinones, this is the best way to understand the national epidemic we are facing. I read the book and can’t stop telling people about it. Even simpler, just open up the newspaper. Nearly every day, there is an article talking about this problem. Or mark your calendar for Wednesday November 8th, when PDS Planning, through our charitable foundation, PDS CARES, will host Wayne Campbell for an evening so he can tell you his story, in hopes that you never have a similar one. Wayne has been featured on HBO Real Sports, 60 Minutes, and countless media outlets throughout the Midwest as he speaks to high school kids about how to avoid these drugs, and also how to find help if they know of someone who needs it.
Here’s a final number – 1. By becoming informed, maybe you can save one person by stopping them from taking these medications without proper medical supervision, or maybe you will better understand how to recognize a person in need of help. So many things divide us today. Let’s come together to fight this epidemic.