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opioid epidemic in Lorain County.

Community Impact

Explore our interactive community dashboard including data, progress, and impact.






Misuse, Abuse & Deaths

Cases of Misuse and Abuse

11.5% of Lorain County residents reported prescription opioid misuse or abuse in the past year, 2.5 times the national average and similar to the rate for the state of Ohio.

Heroin Usage

0.5% reported heroin use in the past year, double the national average.

Emergency Department Visits

Opioid use contributed to 2,691 annual emergency department visits in Lorain County.

Opioid-Related Deaths

Opioid overdose caused 132 deaths in Lorain County in 2016. This number is expected to increase in 2017 and again in 2018.


12% of Lorain County residents report misuse/abuse of opioids, 2.5X the national average.


Number of emergency room visits due to opioid misuse or abuse annually in Lorain County.

Economic Burden


The annual economic burden of the opioid crisis in Lorain County reached nearly $200 million in 2016. The most significant economic impacts are lost wages, productivity, and tax revenues due to opioid-related fatalities and opioid use disorders; increased healthcare costs resulting from overdoses and indirect health complications; and additional criminal justice (police, judicial, and corrections) expenditures.

Productivity Losses

Lost Earnings and Productivity, in Millions USD

EventIndividual & Private Sector LossesLost Federal Tax RevenuesLost State Tax RevenuesLost Local Tax Revenues
Overdose Fatalities$80.7M$20.2M$2.5M$2.9M
Nonfatal Productivity$23.4M$5.9M$0.7M$0.8M

Increased Healthcare Costs, in Millions USD

Overdose Costs$2.9M$11.7M$3.8M
Indirect Costs$3.9M$15.6M$5.8M
Criminal Justice, Child and Family Assistance

Increased Criminal Justice Costs, in Millions USD

CategoryAnnual Cost
Police Protection$2.7M
Judicial & Legal$1.3M
Corrections & Incarceration$2.9M
Property Losses$0.3M
Prevention & Treatment

Notably, the estimate of spending on treatment and prevention when compared with the other components is extremely small, 2.7 percent

Press & Media

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Tracking Northeast Ohio’s Opioid Epidemic From The Front Lines

Originally Published in Ideastream | Full Story Link Here Two Cleveland men have a front seat – literally – to Ohio’s surging opioid epidemic. These recovering alcoholics are the sole outreach workers for circle health service’s syringe exchange program, the first and oldest such program in Ohio. They’re helping drug users avoid the HIV virus and other blood-borne…

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Using Harm Reduction Models to Battle the Opioid Crisis

Originally Published in Ideastream | Full Story Link Here This outreach worker for a needle exchange program in Cleveland is gathering basic information from a drug user before handing him new needles in exchange for his used ones. The program aims to reduce HIV or Hepatitis B and C infections that can occur when heroin addicts share needles.…

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About Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect Series

Originally Published in Ideastream | Full Story Link Here Needle exchanges, synthetic opioids with devastating power, people cycling through rehab, families in crisis… all of these things speak to the powerful, direct impact the opioid epidemic continues to have on our nation. But addiction doesn’t just affect those who are addicted. Addiction to opioids and heroin is indirectly…


Needle Exchange Workers Witness Opioid Epidemic Up Close

Originally Published in Ideastream | Full Story Link Here EDDINGS: In Cleveland, there are two men who’ve had a front seat – literally – to Ohio’s surging opioid epidemic. 60 year old Chico Lewis and 44 year old Roger Lowe are the sole outreach workers for Circle Health Service’s syringe exchange program, the first and oldest such program…

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A Visual Journey Through Addiction

Originally Published in The New York Times | Full Story Link Here THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC is devastating America. Overdoses have passed car crashes and gun violence to become the leading cause of death for Americans under 55. The epidemic has killed more people than H.I.V. at the peak of that disease, and its death toll exceeds…


Now Mental Health Patients Can Specify Their Care Before Hallucinations and Voices Overwhelm Them

Originally Published in The New York Times | Full Story Link Here CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Steve Singer, who has bipolar and borderline personality disorders, knows when he’s on the verge of a mental health crisis. The female voice he hears incessantly in his head suddenly shuts up, and the hula hoop he gyrates while walking to the…


This City’s Overdose Deaths Have Plunged. Can Others Learn From It?

Originally Published in The Morning Journal | Full Story Link Here DAYTON, Ohio — Dr. Randy Marriott clicked open the daily report he gets on drug overdoses in the county. Only one in the last 24 hours — stunningly low compared to the long lists he used to scroll through last year in a grim morning routine. “They just began to…


Is Needle Exchange Program The Way To Go?

Originally Published in Network of Care | Full Story Link Here June 08–“I hated myself, it was misery. But when you’re in the grips of it, the only way I thought I could escape it was one more time.” Those are the words of Patton Couch, a young man in Kentucky recently diagnosed with hepatitis C,…


Ohio now has syringe programs in 16 of its 88 counties

Originally Published in Harm Reduction Ohio | Full Story Link Here Ohio has 14 syringe programs operating in 16 counties at 21 locations, according to a new Harm Reduction Ohio count. Before 2015, Ohio had only one syringe program: a van operating out of a driveway in Cleveland. The legislature legalized syringe programs — sometimes called “needle…


Needle exchange program planned in Lorain County

Originally Published in The Chronicle | Full Story Link Here WELLINGTON — Lorain County’s first needle exchange program will open in Wellington, according to a surprise announcement Thursday at the Village Safety Services town hall meeting. The clinic provides a new approach to the opioid crisis by providing clean needles and other services to drug users. Mayor…