Data & Statistics

Ohio continues to make progress against the opioid epidemic

The total doses of opioids dispensed decreased from a high of 793 million in 2012 to 658 million in 2017 — a decrease of nearly 30 percent.

In October 2015, Governor Kasich announce an investment of up to $1.5 million a year to integrate the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) directly into electronic medical records and pharmacy dispensing systems across the state, allowing instance access for prescribers and pharmacists. As a result of this initiative, 19,568 prescribers and pharmacists were able to immediately access OARRS within their clinical workflow by the end of 2017. The number of queries for patient information in OARRS increased from 1.78 million in 2011 to 88.96 million in 2017 — a 4,900% increase.

The number of individuals engaged in doctor shopping behavior decreased from 2,205 in 2011 to 273 in 2017 — a decrease of 88 percent.

To date, 500,000 low-income adults have been treated for mental health and addiction through Medicaid benefits extended to the working poor. Treatment programming connected with drug courts has also proven successful, with medication-assisted treatment programs now established in courts in seven counties and demonstrating results that increase employment and stable housing while decreasing recidivism. Ohio has also funded efforts to support best practices for our most vulnerable population, babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, improving treatment across the state.

Not only in Ohio, but across the United States, drug abuse and addiction continues to be a pressing issue that costs the lives of many of our friends and family. However, in the last several years Ohio has been confronted with the major epidemic of prescription drug abuse (including opioids) which can lead to heroin addiction and death.

Unintentional drug overdose continued to be the leading cause of injury-related death in Ohio in 2016, ahead of motor vehicle traffic crashes — a trend which began in 2007. Unintentional drug overdoses caused the deaths of 4,050 Ohio residents in 2016 based on preliminary data. This is the highest number of deaths on record from drug overdose and reflects a 32.8 percent increase compared to 2015 when there were 3,050 drug overdose deaths.

To learn more about the problem, download the Ohio Department of Health's 2016 Ohio Drug Overdose Data .

  • Prescriber and pharmacist queries using OARRS increased from 778,000 in 2010 to 9.3 million in 2014, increase of 1,095%.
  • The number of opioid doses dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by almost 92 million from 2012 to 2015.
  • Doctor shopping for prescription opiates has decreased more than 78 percent since 2012.
  • More than 60,000 parents and teachers receive KNOW Teachable Moment tips.
  • In 2014, more than 262 million opioid doses were dispensed in Ohio for the management of acute pain — 35 percent of the state's 750 million total dispensed opioid doses.
  • The number of patients prescribed opioid doses higher than chronic pain guidelines recommend to ensure patient safety decreased by 11 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015.
  • Ohio patients receiving prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepine sedatives at the same time dropped 8 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015.
  • In 2016, Project DAWN programs dispensed 10,477 naloxone kits resulting in 907 overdose reversals.
  • The Ohio state highway patrol seized 167 pounds of heroin and 64,708 prescription pills. Arrests for illegal drugs increased 136 percent, from 5,643 in 2010 to 13,334 in 2016.
  • In 2016, Ohio was the first state to ban a synthetic opiate known as U-47700 as a schedule 1 drug. U-47700 is nearly eight times stronger than morphine.
  • Ohio has invested $1 million for naloxone, which saved 2,300 lives in 2016.
  • In 2016, Project DAWN dispensed 10,477 naloxone kits, which resulted in 907 known reversals.
  • In 85 out of 88 counties seventy-five percent of all retail pharmacies in Ohio are offering naloxone without a prescription.
  • During State Fiscal Year 2017, the Ohio Department of Public safety Office of Criminal Justice Services provides more than $5.5 million in funding to support 40 local drug task forces in communities throughout Ohio.
  • In 2016, The Ohio Department of Public Safety Office of Criminal Justice Services directs $244,000 to help fund five drug treatment projects through the Federal Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, which funds addiction treatment in prisons, jails, and after-care facilities.
  • The Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation created a new rule in 2016, in order to provides injured workers with treatment for opiate dependence. This includes; psychological counseling and medication-assisted treatment for recovery.
  • In March 2017, over 132,000 student attended Start Talking! 5 Minutes for Life presentations since the program was created. In addition, a total of 2,370 students became ambassadors promoting healthy lifestyles among their peers.
  • OARRS 2017 Annual Report issued.