State health officials say methadone causes one out of every ten fatal drug overdoses in Ohio.
The sharp increase in the number of methadone prescriptions is a factor in the number of deaths. CEO of Muskingum Behavioral Health Steve Carrel says whether they have prescriptions or not, abusers will find ways to get drugs.
"Some people take painkillers legitimately because they have pain, legitimate pain that needs to be treated. Some people become addicted and at that point in time, they’ll either manipulate the doctor so they can get their meds and, or find others ways of getting their medications," said Carrel.
Carrel says when people start using and abusing prescription drugs, they develop a tolerance level but once they stop abusing, that tolerance level drops, which can cause a fatal overdose if they start abusing again.
"Most people’s thinking is well it took ten pills then, it will take ten pills now, no it doesn’t, a lot of people are having fatal overdoses because their tolerance dropped and they’re taking way more than their body is ready for," said Carrel.
Carrel wants people to know that addictions are treatable and the first step is calling his office for help.