Social awareness and availability have a lot to do with what drugs people use. For example, a decade ago saw the rise of synthetic drugs for sale in gas stations all over Ohio.
So-called herbal incense, watch cleaners and bath salts claimed to replicate the effects of drugs ranging from marijuana and ecstasy to methamphetamine. People used them and even died from them all over the country. These days, it would be hard for someone to easily acquire any of those drugs thanks to both state and federal regulations changing.
The use of illicit drugs changes over time. What are the current drug possession trends in Ohio and specifically in the Cincinnati area?
Synthetic opioid demand and supply continue to increase
One of the most worrying trends in the unregulated trade and use of prohibited drugs in Ohio is the increased demand for and supply of synthetic opioid drugs like fentanyl. Several times stronger than naturally-derived opiates and cheaper to produce, these drugs have flooded the market and resulted in hundreds of fatal overdoses.
Sometimes, people even find fentanyl mixed in with other drugs, meaning that people with no opioid tolerance consume the drug accidentally with tragic consequences. Reports from the Cincinnati region indicate that fentanyl is a major cause of drug-related deaths. In Hamilton County, fentanyl was responsible for 83.7% of drug-related fatalities in the first six months of 2019, which is the most recent period with analysis available. In Scioto County, fentanyl caused 62.5% of drug-related deaths.
Crystal meth is more popular than powdered meth
According to reports by police officers regarding what they find when conducting methamphetamine-related enforcement actions, methamphetamine in larger crystalline form, sometimes called ice, accounts for a substantial amount of the methamphetamine they intercept.
Some people report using methamphetamine because they believe it is a safer drug than opioids, but state reports indicate that even methamphetamine, a stimulant, may have fentanyl contamination.
Other drug trends in Ohio
Other noteworthy trends include an increase in arrests and laboratory busts related to highly-concentrated marijuana extracts and the rising popularity and availability of an animal sedative known as xylazine. One of the more pressing concerns about xylazine is that the drug does not respond well to Narcan, the drug that can reverse many opioid and heroin overdoses. Cocaine also remains a popular drug, primarily in its powdered form.
Knowing more about drug trends can help you understand the efforts of police officers to enforce state prohibition, which can help you respond to any drug charges that you face.