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Columbus is the state capital of Ohio and the largest city in the state by population. Founded in 1812, Columbus was originally chosen as the capital for its centralized location. The city borrowed its name from the famous Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus.
Columbus saw rapid growth and expansion in the 1800s and early 1900s, thanks in large part to its connections to major transportation routes like the National Road, as well as the Ohio and Erie Canal. Throughout the 20th Century, Columbus experienced a divergence in its economy. What began as a hub for trade in the Midwest quickly grew into a city full of diverse and lucrative industries, including insurance and banking. Education has also played a major role in the city’s national notoriety and local economy. Today, Columbus is home to various institutions of higher education, including Ohio State University.
Many tourists visit Columbus for its rich cultural scene and yearly festivals. Columbus features some of the most popular exhibits in the country, including the Columbus Museum of Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Ohio Theatre. People can also enjoy the fun and entertainment of the Short North Arts District, German Village, and the Arena District. To make Columbus even more appealing to locals and visitors alike, the city hosts some of the most popular sports teams in the country, including the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and the Ohio State Buckeyes (NCAA).
Unlike many cities throughout the state, Columbus has seen a consistent increase in its population over the past three decades. As of the latest census, Columbus had over 906,000 full-time residents, with an average annual increase of 1% since 1990. This makes it the 14th largest city in the country, and if it stays on its current growth trajectory, Columbus will likely climb higher on that list in the next few years.
However, Columbus is not just a great place to live and raise a family. While it is a beautiful city with a prosperous economy and fun lifestyle, there is a darker side to Columbus that many residents would prefer to ignore. In recent years, drug abuse and alcohol abuse have become increasingly common in the city, affecting thousands of individuals and families. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues have only gotten worse.
But if you live in Columbus, Ohio, and you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. You can reach out to the experts at Prosperity Haven for help. Taking that first step could be the change you need to make a full recovery.
That said, we understand that a treatment program may not be the best path for everyone. To help you on your journey, we want to offer some useful information on the current state of substance abuse and addiction in Columbus, Ohio. Read on to learn more about the latest statistics and preventative measures:
The Drug Addiction Crisis in Columbus
Columbus accounts for roughly 90% of Franklin County, and in 2021, Franklin County recorded 825 accidental overdose deaths. While this is a 4% decrease from 2020, it is a 48% increase from 2019. This shows just how much the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic slump affected Columbus residents. And while the numbers have stabilized to some degree, the number of overdose deaths is still more than double what it was just 5 years ago.
Of these deaths, approximately 36% involved just one substance and nearly 40% involved two distinct substances. However, what’s most alarming is the increasing role of opioids in drug-related fatalities in Columbus. In 2021, 89% of all fatal overdoses involved fentanyl, 43% involved cocaine, 18% involved amphetamines, and 18% involved alcohol. 
Columbus Drug and Alcohol Abuse Vs. the Rest of Ohio
While cities like Dayton have a higher rate of fatal overdose, Columbus still records some of the most drug and alcohol-related deaths of any city in Ohio. As previously mentioned, Franklin County recorded 825 accidental overdoses in 2021. Based on coroner’s report data, 813 of these deaths occurred within the Columbus city limits.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the entire state saw 5,174 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2021.  When looking at these two figures side by side, it would appear that the number of deaths in Columbus are relatively small compared to the rest of the state. However, based on their respective populations, Columbus accounts for nearly 7.7% of the state population. Using the latest overdose data, Columbus accounts for 15.7% of the total number of overdose deaths. While this can partially be attributed to the higher rate of overdoses in metropolitan areas, the numbers show that substance abuse and addiction are rampant in Columbus, Ohio, with the city accounting for almost 1 out of every 6 accidental overdose deaths in the entire state.
Substance Abuse Treatment & Prevention in Columbus
The city and county governments have come together to create the Columbus & Franklin County Addiction Plan. According to the city of Columbus website, this plan is designed to “decrease overdoses, overdose deaths, and infectious diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.” It works through education programs and harm reduction courses. Additionally, the Columbus & Franklin County Addiction Plan offers free Narcan Nasal Spray by mail to local residents, which can be used to prevent opioid overdoses.
Additionally, Columbus is close to dozens of rehab and detox centers, including Prosperity Haven. Residents of Columbus can also turn to state-level programs like Project DAWN for assistance. The primary objective of Project DAWN is to educate younger citizens on the dangers of drug abuse, alcoholism, and addiction in general.
Columbus, Ohio Addiction Statistics
Based on the available data, fentanyl is the most dangerous drug in Columbus by far. It contributes to nearly 9 out of every 10 fatal drug overdoses. However, it is often the combination of multiple substances, including cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol, that lead to overdose and death in Columbus. In any case, it is important to understand exactly how these types of drugs impact your local community and contribute to the ever-growing number of substance abuse deaths in the region. So, here are a few of the latest and most relevant findings in Columbus, Ohio as of 2021:
- Annual Overdoses: 1,452
- Cause of Overdose
- Unspecified Substances: 16%
- Illicit Substances: 39%
- Alcohol: 18%
- Prescription Drugs: 27%
- Annual Drug and Alcohol-Related Deaths: 813
Addiction Recovery Rehab in Columbus, Ohio
As you can see, the addiction crisis in Columbus is getting progressively worse, despite local and state efforts to curb the number of overdoses in the region. Fentanyl is the #1 killer in Columbus, and it is frequently hidden in other drugs without the knowledge of the user. If you or someone you love is fighting addiction, this can make it even scarier to have a substance abuse disorder.
Fortunately, picking up the phone could help you save your own life or the life of someone close to you. And at Prosperity Haven, we are always ready and willing to answer that call. Located in Chardon, Ohio, Prosperity Haven offers various treatment options to people throughout the state, including residents of Columbus. Through inpatient treatment, therapy, and holistic approaches, you can reach a state of peace and sobriety. Just remember, addiction doesn’t have to be forever. By reaching out to a treatment center like Prosperity Haven, you are taking the first step toward a new and better tomorrow.
Are you or someone you love struggling with drug addiction in Columbus, Ohio? Are you looking for facilities nearby that can help address drug or alcohol addiction using a wide range of treatments? If so, feel free to contact the experts at Prosperity Haven today.
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