Opiate abuse is on the rise in Ohio, and teenagers are throwing opiate parties called “skittles parties.” They grab handfuls of pain pills from a bowl at the door and chase the pills with alcohol, according to a report.
Currently, prescription opioids cause more fatal overdoses than any other drug in Ohio. Accidental opioid overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the Buckeye State, surpassing auto accidents.
A new play written by Jacqui Loewy debuts this year in Ohio public schools and at community resource centers to combat the problem. The play is called, “Legally Addicted.” It raises awareness about the prescription drug problem in Ohio. The play runs 45 minutes.
After the performances, substance abuse field experts will discuss preventative drug abuse measures and field questions from the audience.
Vince Caraffi is a supervisor with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in Ohio. He and others from the county’s Opiate Task Force were involved in creating the play. Caraffi states, “I thought it was crucial that people know how serious this is because four people in Ohio die every day from opiate addiction. What we’ve also seen is that opiates have become a gateway drug to heroin. An 80 mg. Oxycontin pill can cost $80, but heroin is a lot cheaper.”
Caraffi also pointed out that overdoses don’t just happen to famous people. Non-celebrities in Ohio and other states around the country are dying all the time from drug addiction, without mention in the media.