Healthy Choices About Substance Use
Interact for Health wants to boost people's ability to live a good life. Part of this involves helping people make healthy choices about substance use. This means not only avoiding drugs such as heroin, but also drinking alcohol in moderation, not smoking and not misusing prescription pain medicines. People must understand the risks they are taking and how to manage them. They need to cultivate the ability to identify and refuse unacceptable risks. They need to work with others to create safe environments.
Our current efforts are directed in three areas:
The one thing that would improve health the most in our region would be to reduce our tobacco use. Smokers who quit can add 10 years to their lives (and save a lot of money). Smokers are at greater risk for cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Secondhand smoke caused by smokers in the home or other indoor places causes significant health problems for nonsmokers. These include ear infections, asthma attacks and respiratory infections in children, and heart disease, lung cancer and stroke in adults.
Do we in Greater Cincinnati smoke more than the rest of the country?
Ohio's smoking rate is 19 percent (Ohio Health Issues Poll, 2015), the same as the nation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [BRFSS], 2013). Smoking rates are higher in Kentucky and Indiana. In Kentucky, 26 percent of adults report being current smokers (Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 2015), while in Indiana 22 percent of adults report this (BRFSS, 2013).
Do certain groups smoke more than others?
According to the Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention (CDC), people living below the poverty level and people with less education are more likely to smoke cigarettes. They have a higher risk of lung cancer and are more likely to be exposured to secondhand smoke.
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 adults with a mental health condition smokes cigarettes (36%). At least 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by people with mental health conditions.
To see Interact for Health's official position statement about tobacco free environments, click here.
PROMOTING PREVENTION OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Right now, in our region, two people die from an accidental opioid overdose at least every day on average. Most people who get into trouble with these drugs began by using prescription pain medicines.
If you are being treated for pain, and your pain does not decrease with treatment, talk with your doctor. It can be very dangerous to use powerful painkillers for too long, to increase your painkiller dose or to take alcohol or other drugs with them.
The Food and Drug Administration has A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine on its website.
The American Institute for Preventive Medicine offers a downloadable document about How To Take Painkillers Safely.
A study released in March 2017 found that with a 10-day supply of prescription opioids, 1 in 5 people will become long-term users. When people get a 30-day supply, nearly half will become long-term users. That’s why it’s important to take opioids only in the correct dosage and for the duration prescribed by a doctor. It’s also important to get rid of unused opioids so others do not use them.
These police departments in the Ohio counties of Interact for Health’s service area have free prescription drug collection bins. The dropboxes are provided in partnership with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance.
- Manchester Police Department, 400 Pike St., Manchester, OH 45144
- Fayetteville Police Department, 81 W. Pike St., Fayetteville, OH 45118
- Georgetown Police Department, 108 E. State St., Georgetown, OH 45121
- Mt. Orab Police Department, 211 S. High St., Mt. Orab, OH 45154
- Sardinia Police Department, 151 Maple Ave., Sardinia, OH 45171
- Butler County Sheriff's Office, 705 Hanover St., Hamilton, OH 45011
- Fairfield City Police Department, 5230 Pleasant Ave., Fairfield, OH 45014
- Hamilton Police Department, 331 Front St., Hamilton, OH 45011
- Miami University Police, 4945 Oxford-Trenton Road, Oxford, OH 45056
- Middletown Police Department, 1 Donham Plaza, Middletown, OH 45042
- Monroe Police Department, 233 S. Main St., Monroe, OH 45050
- Oxford Police Department, 11 S. Poplar St. Oxford, OH 45056
- Clermont County Sheriff's Office, 4470 State Route 222, Batavia, OH 45103
- Goshen Township Police Department, 6757 Goshen Road, Goshen, OH 45122
- Clinton County Sheriff's Office, 1645 Davids Drive, Wilmington, OH 45177
- Colerain Police Department, 4200 Springdale Road, Cincinnati, OH 45251
- Delhi Township Police Department, 934 Neeb Road, Cincinnati, OH 45233
- Evendale Police Department, 10500 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241
- Green Township Police Department, 6303 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45247
- Greenhills Police Department, 11000 Winton Road, Greenhills, OH 45218
- Indian Hill Rangers, 6525 Drake Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243
- Lockland Police Department, 101 N. Cooper Ave., Lockland, OH 45215
- Madeira Police Department, 7141 Miami Ave., Madeira, OH 45243
- University of Cincinnati Police Department, 51 W. Corry Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221
- Warren County Franklin Police Department, 400 Anderson St., Franklin, OH 45005
- Maineville Police Department, 8188 S. Ohio 48, Maineville, OH 45039
Other dropbox locations throughout the state can be found at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims/Drug-Diversion/Prescription-Drug-Drop-Boxes.
Interact has helped create comprehensive plans to address the opioid epidemic in Northern Kentucky and Hamilton County. We have also funded the creation of plans that are in progress in Brown, Clinton and Warren counties in Ohio and in Southeast Indiana.
To download "Northern Kentucky's Collective Response to the Heroin Epidemic: Our Road to Recovery," click here.
To download "Reversing the Tide: Hamilton County's Response to the Opioid Epidemic," click here.
The video below details Interact's work to combat the heroin epidemic.
MARIJUANA AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Regardless of marijuana's legal status in various states, there is evidence that marijuana harms the brains of children and young adults. Interact for Health believes that children and adults younger than 21 should not have legal access to marijuana for recreational use. To read Interact's full official position statement about marijuana and young people, click here.
Interact also believes that if marijuana is to be used as a prescribed medicine, it should receive the same review, regulation and oversight as every other prescribed medicine. To read Interact's full official position statement about marijuana as medicine, click here.
- Healthy Eating
- Active Living
- Worksite Wellness
- Mental and Emotional Well-being
- Healthy Choices About Substance Use
One in 4 Kentucky adults concerned about losing their health insurance.
Rate of employer-sponsored health insurance declines; more Northern Kentucky adults lack insurance than in rest of state. The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found one in four (24%) of insured Kentucky adults ages 18 to 64 are concerned about losing health coverage within the next year.
Kentucky adults overwhelmingly favor tobacco-free schools.
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 9 in 10 adults (87%) favor schools adopting tobacco-free campus policies in their communities. Support for tobacco-free school policies has been consistently strong -- favored by 85% of Kentucky adults in 2015 and 84% in 2013.
Most Kentucky adults favor raising minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 6 in 10 Kentucky adults (58 percent) favor raising the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. This support has held steady since 2015, the first time KHIP asked this question. Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky sponsored the poll.
Nearly half of young adults in Kentucky have tried an e-cigarette
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 3 in 10 Kentucky adults reported ever using e-cigarettes. The rate is higher than national statistics, where just over 2 in 10 adults reported ever using e-cigarettes. The highest reported use was among young adults in Kentucky, where nearly half said they had ever used an e-cigarette.
Most Kentucky adults support a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law
The 2017 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that 71 percent of Kentucky adults support a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law. This remains the highest level of support since the poll began tracking this topic.
Half of Ohio adults say they favor needle exchange programs
Half of Ohio adults (50 percent) said they favor and about 4 in 10 Ohio adults (42 percent) said they oppose needle exchange programs, according to the most recent Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP).
6 in 10 Ohio adults favor raising minimum age to buy tobacco to 21
Six in 10 Ohio adults (58 percent) favor raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 according to the 2017 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP). This is an increase from 2016. A majority of Democrats (67 percent) and Republicans (60 percent) favored increasing the purchase age to 21. OHIP also asked if Ohio adults support a tax increase of 65 cents per pack of cigarettes; half of Ohio adults (53 percent) were in support.
2 in 10 allow smoking in homes.
The 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS), funded by Interact for Health, has found that 23 percent of adults in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area are current smokers. Although the rate has been steadily declining, our region is still higher than the nation, where 18 percent of adults were smokers in 2015.
Greater Cincinnati Health Watch
Greater Cincinnati Health Watch is a free biweekly e-mail newsletter published by Interact for Health. Each issue includes health news stories from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and the nation, with emphasis on topics related to Interact for Health's focus areas of substance use disorders, severe mental illness, school-aged children's healthcare, and community primary care.