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Hubbard, Girard, Niles

(Trumbull County, Ohio)

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Hubbard, Girard and Niles are some well known cities in Trumbull County, Ohio. Located about an hour from Cleveland, OH, as well as Pittsburgh PA, Trumbull County is part of northeast Ohio’s rural area. The serene, spacious landscape, including the beautiful Mahoning River and the many streams and creeks all across the County, make these cities wonderful places to live in. The County is host to several great golf courses including one of the larger courses of the famous Ohio-Penn Golf Trail. Although notably the only perfectly square shaped county in Ohio, unfortunately not everything is perfectly square in Trumbull as it relates to Behavioral Health and Addiction.

As with most of the region, sadly, too many in the population and in leadership have struggled over the past decade with confronting an overbearing substance addiction and overdose challenge. Fueled by a national drug epidemic, and massive shifts in industry and culture affecting many parts of the U.S. Ohioans are increasingly in need of professional Addiction Treatment services to help them regain freedom and stability.

Encouragingly, there is hope for men and their families suffering from Drug and Alcohol misuse. Understanding the nature of the issue, its effects, and importantly available solutions, as it relates uniquely to each local, will help equip them with relevant information, as they consider and plan their journey to recovery.

Here we explore some of the general as well as the more specific facts and figures, providing a perspective surrounding Trumbull County and the addiction issues it faces.

Cities of Hubbard, Girard, Niles: History & Culture

   Occupying the southern section of Trumbull County, Ohio, is a group of small to medium sized cities including the cities of: Hubbard, Girard and Niles. This section of Trumbull County, known as the Mahoning Valley Area, is where most of the county’s population of 200,000 is located. Being a rural area of the state of Ohio, naturally, the population is not concentrated in a few big or medium sized cities, but is rather spread out among many towns and communities, as well as some small city suburbs.

Hubbard, Girard and Niles combined have a population of about 35,000 people, and represent a great demonstration of the area’s many other similar cities and towns, with regard to history, culture as well as current addiction issues.

Early pioneers, full with determination and hope, arrived in this area of the historic Western Reserve area of the fledgling United States at the turn of the 18th century. The area’s River and streams, as well as other important natural resources, inspired many to slowly and arduously begin setting roots there.

After establishing villages and some basic infrastructure, various mills and factories began operating, with an expanding list of industries basing their businesses in the area over the following decades. These include coal, iron and steel mining and processing -with “Heaton’s Furnace” in Niles being one of the first in the Ohio region; salt harvesting from a local salt spring; Tanning and leather works in Girard -including the largest calf leather processor in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century. And later on, stoves, highway guard rails and agricultural and automobile parts in Niles and Girard, as well as brick and furniture factories in Hubbard.

On top of all this was the major transportation and shipping industry that was gradually built in this area. The dominant Mahoning River spanning from Western Pennsylvania and the Youngstown, OH area to the greater Akron, OH region, winds its way through south Trumbull County, and serves as an important water based transportation route for much of the region. After constructing an important dam in the Girard area of the River, accompanied with the creation of a large reservoir and a river crossing, Girard and eventually Niles as well became important parts of the interconnected canal and river systems which would come to connect Pennsylvania and much of east Ohio’s cities, allowing for the effective flow of goods and people through the region.

Later on, with the construction of the Erie Extension Canal among other regional canals, and subsequently the rail system that would be laid alongside it, cities along the Mahoning Valley became connected directly to Lake Erie and by extension to full national and even international trade. Indeed, many of the most influential directors and investors in the canal and railroad systems were local leaders from Girard, Niles and Hubbard.

 

Historical Challenges

   As with much of the “Rust belt” regions, the end of the twentieth century brought massive changes to the area and fundamentally affected its character. Automatization, globalization and major cultural changes, brought about the decline of the industrial hub that was for almost two centuries the Mahoning Valley. Major factories and businesses downsized and eventually shuttered entirely, some rapidly and with little warning, leaving thousands of workers bereft of jobs and their wages almost overnight. Some of the cities managed to gradually come back somewhat with more contemporary businesses and factories, while others became largely a shadow of their former highly productive and consequential pasts.

Known for their grit and proficiency, this area of Ohio had been through many and varied challenges throughout its history, and largely withstood them resolutely (-the original local newspaper in Girard was even called “Girard Grit”). The latest changes, however, seem to have deeply affected the region in a most devastating way, causing among many feelings of despair and anxiety and the resultant spurt of substance use disorders and mental health struggles.

Having secured its place in history as the birthplace of President William Mckinley and the birth of the ubiquitous hot-dog stadium concession stands, Trumbull County has recently had the misfortune of being known as one of Ohio’s and even America’s worst counties with regard to drug overdoses.

 

In a State of Struggle -Ohio Substance Addiction Crisis

   To properly understand the current crisis facing Trumbull County and many of its cities, it is critical to first gain perspective on the addiction crisis gripping the entire state of Ohio. Ohio’s overdose death statistics help portray a vivid view of the extent and the impact of the substance abuse occurring in the state, particularly with regard to illicit drugs.

Since the year 2016, Ohio has been averaging over 4,300 deaths from drug overdoses per year. After trend breaking decreases in levels in 2018 and 2019, the Pandemic years of 2020-2021 saw huge increases, with 2020 levels jumping almost 25% from the year before (although not much higher than the highest year on record before it, 2017).

During 2020, Ohio was among a handful of States reporting its highest number of drug related deaths ever recorded. That number only continued to increase in 2021 albeit to a lesser extent. Predictably, the U.S. as a whole saw a staggering increase in general drug use during the Pandemic -beginning in 2020- recording 15% more drug users over pre-pandemic levels. And the resulting overdose deaths jumped to a historical, devastating high of 91,800 deaths nationwide, 25% higher than recent levels.

While Pandemic era numbers or levels tend to skew clear trends, there is no doubt that Ohio is and has been in the grips of an addiction crisis of epic proportions. Ohio addiction trends that seemed to have been leveling out a bit for a couple of years pre-pandemic, obscure the fact that those levels were still severely elevated -double the levels of just a few years prior. Beyond that, the recent Pandemic induced levels are most likely to remain for the near future to a large extent.

As the U.S. continues to struggle with an ever growing wave of synthetic opioid availability since 2013, and the subsequent sky-rocketing death rates, some States are faring worse than others regarding availability, vulnerability, and the resulting overdoses from these extremely addictive and deadly substances. Ohio is unfortunately among the top five states when ranked for overdose deaths, and has the regrettable distinction of having some of the worst counties -drug abuse wise- in the entire Country. The state is located in the drug trafficking corridor which feeds drugs arriving at the U.S. southern border across the Midwest, and as it relates to Ohio particularly, serving up the illegal contraband to the Northeast region, and dropping plenty off in the state itself along the way.

Trumbull’s Drug & Alcohol Addiction Crisis in Numbers

   Trumbull County, while not as bad as some counties in the south of Ohio, still ranks # 10 in the order for worst of Ohio’s almost 90 counties. After an uneven overdose death rate during the past decade, ranging from 36 deaths a year to 135, and averaging 106 deaths per year between 2015 and 2020, the county recorded a record 135 overdose deaths during 2017 – a 400% increase over the rate just five years prior, plus an additional 1,119 nonfatal overdoses that year alone.

Trumbull also has a significantly higher rate of child removal due to substance use disorders than the State average, even registering an additional 40% increase recently. And around 10% of County residents misuse prescription drugs. Over 3% of the population is estimated to be using opioids chronically. Within the county, almost half of all overdose deaths happened in the city of Niles (in 2019). While Hubbard is slightly below the state average for cities and drug crime and overdoses, Niles suffers from increased drug use and related crime.

As with most of Ohio, Trumbull’s overdose deaths are almost exclusively unintentional, stemming from a catastrophic flood of toxic Fentanyl being added to various drugs in lethal amounts all across the country, and currently accounting for a full 80% (and in some areas 90%) of Ohio’s drug overdose deaths.

Ohio suffers 5,000 alcohol related deaths yearly on average. And though the death rate from alcohol is difficult to assess on the county and city levels, the devastation of excessive and unbalanced use of alcohol can be gleaned from its peripheral effects: over 5% of all vehicle crashes in Trumbull county annually are due to the driver being alcohol impaired. Statewide, 85% of drivers killed in crashes are found to be with elevated alcohol levels. Recently, in 2021, a shocking 720 people died in crashes related to alcohol or drug impairment, over 70% more than in 2017.

In Trumbull, in 2019 55% of fatal crashes involved alcohol impaired drivers. And more than 500 Ohioans, on average, die every year due to alcohol or drug related causes (besides for actual overdoses). Liquor sales have been steadily increasing in Trumbull county during the past few years, and in 2020 alcohol sales increased by more than 20%, unsurprising, as over 20% of all Ohioans admit to binge drinking. Indeed, every year a few hundred Trumbull residents are diagnosed with an alcohol SUD (Substance Use Disorder), besides for the over a thousand diagnosed annually with a drug SUD.

Covid 19 & Recent Substance Use Developments & Stats

   The past two decades presented Trumbull County and Ohio at large, as well as many other states and regions, with a unique combination of challenges as it relates to drug or opioid abuse. A prescription drug crisis of addictive pain-killers being over prescribed and overused, along with other addictive health pills misuse, compounded by an epic surge in the availability of cheaper mostly synthetic illicit street drugs, left many parts of the Country reeling in a crushing drug addiction, crime, unemployment, and overdose crisis situation, and often a legitimate emergency health and safety disaster.

The Covid-19 pandemic and lock-downs, exacerbated chronic substance use and limited diagnosis and treatment. Trumbull’s documented overdose deaths rose from a recent average of 106 deaths per year to 116 (according to Ohio DOH that number was 126) in 2020 and 117 in 2021, and to around 20,000 annual drug related arrests. Trumbull County also has the 6th highest felony drug arrest rate in all of Ohio.

A recent report from businesses in Trumbull County highlighted the impact of the crisis, stating that very often 4 out of 10 applicants to local factory jobs are unable to pass a routine drug test and are thus unable to be hired for work. And recently, in the summer of 2022, Trumbull was one of two counties in northeast Ohio to finally win a huge 350 million dollar lawsuit against some major Pharmaceutical companies due to damages incurred by the county and its residents over the past decade from the unchecked mass distribution of addictive prescription pain-killers.

More recently, from 2020 to 2022, Ohio has seen a surge in the use of meth (Methamphetamine), and related overdoses, with the meth increasingly found to include high levels of Fentanyl. Meth accounted for 26% of drug deaths in 2021, up from 15% in 2018, with the actual number of deaths from Meth more than doubling since 2018.

The substance is often trafficked from Akron, Ohio into the county, and Trumbull has a higher amount of meth use than the state average. According to OSHP statistics, meth seizures statewide increased a staggering 436% for the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020. As one DEA Special Agent observed, the quantities of meth being encountered in Ohio are typically seen only during drug seizures at the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico.

 

Addressing the Addiction Issue Locally

   The numbers and stats indeed paint a grim picture of Trumbull’s addiction crisis, however, one important final statistic brings into focus an even more disappointing data point: Most of those suffering from substance use are not receiving the treatment that they need, and about 50% of those surveyed said they looked for but couldn’t find appropriate treatment.

Among its efforts to address this issue facing the county, Trumbull county provides an important and friendly community substance use resource at www.trumbullmhrb.org with guidance, support, news and resources relating to substance abuse prevention and treatment. Trumbull is also one of the founding counties of the Circle For Recovery Ohio (CFRO) addiction program cooperation of hard-hit Ohio counties.

Still, Northeast Ohio hosts only a small few Inpatient or Residential Addiction Treatment facilities, the highest graduate rated and the most successful among them being Prosperity Haven Treatment Center, located almost immediately outside Trumbull county in nearby Hambden/Chardon -just a twenty minute drive up Northwest on Rt. 608 Old State Rd.

 

Addiction Recovery Inpatient, PHP, Outpatient Rehab Nearby

   Fortunately for Hubbard, Girard, Niles and all Trumbull County residents, Prosperity Haven in Chardon, Ohio is well equipped and has a superb record for treating addiction, providing a full continuum of care in our homelike serene facility located on 7.5 acres of land, to a limited group of men being treated at a given time. Our highly skilled staff use the most advanced techniques available to create individually tailored treatment programs, as they personally guide and help every single resident overcome his addiction as well as address his underlying emotional or mental causes or trauma, enabling him to achieve a real, lasting recovery.

Are you or someone you love struggling with addiction in Trumbull, Ohio (including in the cities of: Hubbard, Girard, and Niles)? Do you perhaps need help from professionals to finally rid yourself of drug or alcohol abuse? Are you looking for a compassionate, high-rated program nearby that can really help by using a wide range of individualized treatments? If so, contact the experts at Prosperity Haven to learn more about all your options, and for any of your questions.

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