A drug and alcohol treatment facility is battling a deadly addiction that appears to be reaching epidemic proportions, and the demand for help is so high that one of its locations cannot take any additional patients.
Specialists with Maryhaven estimate that 80 percent of its people seeking help are addicted to either heroin or prescription drugs, 10TV's Jason Frazer reported on Wednesday.
For that reason one of Maryhaven's facilities is completely full of patients like Kristy Hilditch, whose addiction to heroin began with painkillers.
Hilditch, a former athlete who was injured while playing volleyball, ran out of medication and began experimenting with heroin.
"Once I started my life completely went downhill," she said.
Hilditch was quickly addicted and turned to Maryhaven for help. Hilditch said it was her only option, aside from death.
"Once they get you, they got a customer," she said. "They have a customer for a long time. You either get help or you die."
Police are aware of the growing heroin problem in Columbus.
"Throughout the city there has been an increase in heroin in the last several years," said Columbus police deputy acting chief Tim Becker. "It's grown actually exponentially."
Those who work at Maryhaven are fully aware of the addiction. The agency is currently assisting about 600 opiate patients, including heroin abusers, Frazer reported.
The high-demand has left the facility stretched.
"We're not able to admit people here the same day, the same week, or even the same month," said Maryhaven's Paul Coleman.
Still, the facility does not turn people away. It instead finds patients help and assistance through other community groups, Frazer reported.
The state of Ohio is also assisting, as a grant totaling $500,000 was recently approved that will go toward helping drug abusers in Franklin County.
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