More than 2 in 10 Ohio adults know someone who's had problems because of heroin, survey finds

Nearly 3 in 10 know person abusing prescriptions

CINCINNATI -- More than two in 10 Ohio adults say they have family members or friends who have used heroin, and nearly three in 10 adults have a relative or friend who's had problems abusing prescription painkillers.

The 2016 Ohio Health Issues Poll found those rates were about the same as in 2015, but higher than 2014.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than 3,000 Ohioans died from an unintentional drug overdose in 2015, up from 2,500 in 2014.

Of the people surveyed who knew someone abusing prescription pain drugs, more than 40 percent said they knew someone who'd overdosed. And for the people who knew a heroin user, the rate jumped to more than 60 percent.

IN DEPTH: Heroin in the Tri-State

The survey, funded by Interact for Health, surveyed 863 Ohio adults through a phone interview, about half landlines and half cellphones. Researchers conducted the survey between July 14 and Aug. 5, and the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

Ohio women were more likely than men to know someone with problems from opioid misuse or heroin use. Younger adults -- in the 18-to-45 age group -- had a higher rate of knowing someone with an opioid drug problem than older adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio had the fifth-highest overdose rate in 2014, with 24.6 per 100,000. It placed behind West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky.

Nearly half a million Americans died from drug overdoses from 2000 through 2014, the CDC says.

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