The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting a major increase in drug arrests this year.
Troopers have seized 27,875 grams of heroin in the first six months of 2012 -- a 327 percent increase over the same period last year.
In addition, marijuana seizures by gram are up 107 percent, with overall drug arrests across the state up 30 percent.
Neighboring Lorain County had the second-highest number of drug arrests in the state with 154, second only to Franklin County, which had 310.
How does that affect Strongsville?
While officers here don't find much heroin on the city's streets, they .
"We don't arrest a lot of people with heroin," Detective Lt. John Janowski told Strongsville Patch last fall. "But a lot of our thieves are heroin addicts."
Police say a shocking number of shoplifters caught at the mall and other Strongsville businesses are addicted to heroin, stealing to support their expensive habit.
"It's hard to maintain a job and be a heroin addict. You can do marijuana or other drugs and still work," Janowski said.
The desperation to feed a heroin addiction often drives people to break into houses and cars and steal from stores.
Marijuana is by far the most common drug seized by troopers, according to the Patrol. The nearly 1.8 million grams of marijuana seized by OSHP officers during the first six months of 2012 is equivalent to 3,965 pounds.
Opiates were the most frequent type of pill seized by troopers (21,211 dosage units in 2012). These include pain killers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
“Generation Rx believes using medications prescribed by a doctor to another family member is a safe way to get high," said Nancy Pommerening, director of Drug Awareness and Prevention Inc., which helped organize a .
She said abuse of prescription pain pills like Codeine, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Opana, Darvon and Percocet has led to a massive increase in heroin addiction.
“Heroin is the cheaper, street-drug form of opiate-based Rx medicines," Pommerening said in a news release.
Patrol Superintendent Col. John Born said troopers are "looking beyond the traffic stop – they are detecting and removing the criminal element from our communities."
He urged the public to call #677 to report drug activity.