State report details $733 million in spending on substance abuse efforts

Tax dollars are funding more than $733 million in substance abuse education, prevention and treatment in Ohio, according to a report from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office (Source: “Ohio spending $733M on substance abuse and recovery efforts,” Mahoning Matters, Sept. 6).

The Recovery Ohio 2021 Annual Review details spending on at least 47 projects related to education, workforce development, prevention, treatment, data and technology, harm reduction and public safety.

Accidental drug overdoses have been the leading cause of death in Ohio since 2007, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In 2020, 5,017 people died of overdoses in the state, a 25% increase over the previous year. 

Most of Recovery Ohio funding in 2021, $695 million, was spent on prevention programs and resources for school children.


Graphic of the week

SuicideDisparities_StandAloneGraphic_04.14.2022
As national and state organizations mark September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, data show that while suicide deaths among young Ohioans have risen overall in Ohio over the past two decades, the increase has been sharpest among Black Ohioans.

In 1999, the suicide rates for both white Ohioans and Black Ohioans ages 10 to 24 were the same: 6.8 per 100,000 people. By 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), the rate for white Ohioans had risen to 11.2 (an increase of 64%) and the rate for Black Ohioans had risen to 12.8 (an increase of 88%).

More-recent national research indicates that the disparity in suicide rates may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reducing suicide and eliminating disparities are priorities of the Ohio Department of Health’s 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Public- and private-sector leaders can implement strategies identified in the SHIP and Ohio’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan, including suicide fatality review boards, behavioral health integration with primary care and education on safe storage of lethal means (i.e., firearms and medications).

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, consider using the Crisis Text Line at www.crisistextline.org or text “4HOPE” to 741-741.


Life expectancy has largest two-year drop in a century, new CDC data shows

The average life expectancy of Americans fell precipitously in 2020 and 2021, the sharpest two-year decline in nearly 100 years and a stark reminder of the toll exacted on the nation by the continuing coronavirus pandemic (Source: “U.S. Life Expectancy Falls Again in ‘Historic’ Setback,” New York Times, Aug. 31).

In 2021, the average American could expect to live until the age of 76, federal health researchers reported on Wednesday. The figure represents a loss of almost three years since 2019, when Americans could expect to live, on average, nearly 79 years.

While the pandemic has driven most of the decline in life expectancy, a rise in accidental deaths and drug overdoses also contributed, as did deaths from heart disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, the new report found.

Earlier this summer, HPIO released a data snapshot detailing death trends among working-age Ohioans, a major driver of lower life expectancy. “The increasing death rate for working-age Ohioans is part of a long-term trend, starting in the early 2000s, in which Ohio is doing worse than the U.S. overall,” the analysis found.


Model predicts potential new wave of accidental drug overdoses

According to modelling from a Northwestern University researcher, the current rise in opioid deaths is not expected to slow anytime soon, and, in fact, may be a warning for one of the largest death waves due to opioids the country has seen to date, with Ohio potentially on the frontline once again (Source: “Model suggests coming wave of opioid deaths bigger than seen before,” Cleveland.com, Aug. 29).

Those who study opioid addiction refer to overdose deaths as coming in waves. And according to research published at the end of July, we may be headed for a tsunami.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio ranked fourth in the rate of drug overdose mortality in 2020; 75% of those deaths were due to opioid overdose, the CDC found. The overwhelming majority of those — 82% — are synthetic opioids manufactured illicitly, rather than prescription drugs being re-sold on the street.

Lori Ann Post, who studies opioid abuse trends at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the goal of modeling is to get out in front of the problem because by the time all the toxicology reports come back and the data is input into the CDC databases, policymakers are a year behind; it’s too late by then to make the policy changes that are needed.

HPIO created the Addiction Evidence Project to provide policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to evaluate Ohio’s policy response to the opiate crisis and accelerate and continually improve strategies to address substance use disorders in a comprehensive, effective and efficient way.


HPIO launches Facts and Figures resource pages with downloadable graphics, key data points

HPIO has launched a series of resource pages that include a collection of graphics and key data points from HPIO publications.

The Institute encourages stakeholders to use data and graphics from its publications in their own work (presentations, reports, etc.). The Facts and Figures pages include suggested citation guidelines.

Initial topics covered in the Facts and Figures pages are:


Ohio infant mortality rates dropped in 2020, new ODH report finds

Ohio saw a slight dip in its infant mortality rate in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new 2020 data released by the Ohio Department of Health (Source: “State report: Ohio infant mortality rate 'lowest it has been in past decade',” Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 19).

According to the ODH report, there were 6.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2020, down from 6.9 the year prior. Black infants specifically saw a bigger decrease in that time frame, from 14.3 deaths per 1,000 births to 13.6, which is 2.7 times the rate of white infants. In total, 864 infants died before their first birthday in 2020.

The new infant mortality rate is "the lowest it has been in the past decade," according to the report, but it's still far above from the 2028 target of 6 or fewer deaths per 1,000 births for every racial group that was set out in the 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan.

"Racial and socio-economic inequities persist," the report acknowledged. "The infant mortality rate not only serves as a key indicator of maternal and infant health but is also an important measure of the health status of a community."


ODH releases monkeypox data dashboard

The Ohio Department of Health launched a monkeypox data dashboard Thursday, showing cases statewide and per county, and by age ranges, sex, hospitalizations, deaths and other information (Source: “Ohio Department of Health launches new monkeypox data dashboard and interactive map showing locations of all 147 cases,” Cleveland.com, Aug. 25).

ODH plans to update the dashboard each Thursday. Currently, there have been 147 confirmed cases across 19 counties. Cuyahoga County, with 69 cases, has the most, followed by Franklin County, which counts 33 cases. 

Just nine people have been hospitalized and no one has died with monkeypox in Ohio thus far.

The state’s first monkeypox case was reported June 13. Cases have increased in Ohio and across the country in the past few weeks.


State campaign aims to highlight financial resources for substance use disorder treatment

The state is setting up a new education program for financial advisers, to teach them how to better help their clients who are dealing with the impacts of substance use disorder and to pass on information about available resources (Source: “New state program aims to make treatment for substance use disorder more affordable for Ohioans,” Statehouse News Bureau, Aug. 23).

Those on the front lines who are dealing with substance use disorders say families of thousands of Ohioans who go through treatment for it often dip into their retirement savings or destroy their nest egg to access care.

Andrea Seidt, the Ohio Securities Commissioner for the Ohio Department of Commerce said the new state campaign called Recovery Within Reach will include public service announcements on television as well as digital ads. And she said resources are now available on a state website, 
RecoveryWithinReach.Ohio.gov, including a map that shows where treatment is available and gives a variety of payment options for those services.


HPIO seeking candidates for program evaluation, policy positions

HPIO is seeking applicants for full-time Director of Policy and Program EvaluationPolicy and Program Evaluation Analyst and Policy Analyst — Healthcare access, quality and spending positions.

All three positions would be key members of a highly collaborative team and would support HPIO’s mission to advance evidence-informed policies that improve health, advance equity, and lead to sustainable healthcare spending.

Information about specific responsibilities and qualifications for the positions, as well as how to apply, are posted on HPIO’s website. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. 


Graphic of the week

CJH_Standalone_08.19.2022
Over the past year, HPIO has explored the connections between criminal justice and health.
 
The research evidence is clear that poor mental health and addiction are risk factors for criminal justice involvement and that incarceration is detrimental to health (see graphic above).
 
Obstacles to health and well-being are particularly striking for Ohioans who are at highest risk of criminal justice involvement.
 
Next month, HPIO plans to release the third in a series of policy briefs on the topic. The latest edition will explore pretrial incarceration and the bail system.
 
The first brief in the series provides foundational analysis on the connection between criminal justice and health and the second brief explored insights on justice and race.
 
All briefs in the series include evidence-informed policy options to improve the health, safety and well-being of Ohioans.