opioid addiction| ohio community health recovery centers
opioid addiction| ohio community health recovery centers

The Opioid Crisis

The recent rise of opioids has taken place over the past few years, but the current overarching opioid crisis began in the late 1990s. This was when pharmaceutical companies started aggressively marketing opioids for pain relief. At the same time, there was an increase in prescribing opioids for pain relief.

The result was more people becoming addicted to opioids. In 2017, there were more than 47,000 overdose deaths from opioids. This is more than any other year on record.

There are many factors that have contributed to the opioid crisis. These include:

  • The aggressive marketing of opioids by pharmaceutical companies
  • The overprescribing of opioids by doctors
  • The easy availability of opioids
  • The illegal use of opioids

Unfortunately, these problems can lead to disastrous and dangerous effects.

opioid effects | ohio community health recovery centers

Effects of Opioids

Opioid misuse can eventually evolve into a full-blown abuse and addiction problem which can lead to a number of other issues that can impact your physical health, mental health, financial situation, and more. Some of the common mental health side effects of opioid addiction include anxiety, depression, and paranoia.

Meanwhile, some of the common physical health problems include respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems, and cardiovascular problems.

People who are addicted to opioids may turn to illegal drugs, such as heroin, to get the same high. Heroin is cheaper and easier to get than prescription painkillers.

opioid effects | ohio community health recovery centers

Opioid Overdose Effects

Let’s take a look at some of the most common effects of opioid overdose so you can recognize a problem in an emergency.


Pale and Clammy

During an opioid overdose, the individual's skin will likely turn pale and white and clammy and cold to the touch.


Limp Body

An overdose will cause an individual to lose control of their body completely and become limp.


Lip Discoloration

It is common for a person's lips and even their fingernails to turn blue or purple during an overdose.



Despite being unresponsive or unconscious, it is still common for people who overdose to vomit.



This one may seem obvious but during an overdose the individual will go unconscious and unresponsive.


Depressed Respiration

Overdoses cause the individua's breathing and heart rate to slow and can even stop in some cases.

opioid addiction | ohio community health recovery centers
opioid addiction | ohio community health recovery centers

Opioid Addiction Treatment

People with opioid addiction often have trouble quitting on their own. They may need professional help to overcome their addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. There are a number of opioid addiction treatment options available, and the sooner you seek help, the better your chances are of recovering from this addiction.

Some common treatments for opioid addiction include:

Medication: There are a number of medications that can be used to treat opioid addiction. These include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Behavior therapy: This type of therapy can help you change your behavior and thought patterns. It can also help you learn new coping skills.

Support groups: This type of support can be very helpful in recovery. There are a number of different groups available, and you can find one that meets your specific needs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, don’t hesitate to get help. There are a number of resources available, and treatment can be the difference between life and death in some cases.

What we know for sure is that substance abuse can lead to a number of issues including organ damage, financial problems, relationship problems, and mental health issues.

Addiction is likely not something that you can solve on your own. Get the help you need at our drug & alcohol rehab in Cincinnati.

Other Treatments

Learn more about other types of common addictions people deal with



Co-Occurring Mental
Health Disorders


Opioid Addiction


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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn