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The meth market is booming. Literally.

The latest clandestine lab explosion to rock the headlines occurred March 4. A man was fatally burned. But what piqued public curiosity was the location of the lab: an Ashtabula nursing home.

The mystery of how the makeshift "shake and bake" setup and the caustic stink of ammonium nitrate and camp-stove fuel -- two volatile ingredients in the crystal meth recipe -- escaped attention is still under investigation by Ashtabula police. Meanwhile, the Park Haven Home went belly-up March 23 as the Ohio Department of Health was in the process of revoking its license.

Methamphetamine in an Ashtabula nursing home blows away any doubt that drug abuse has mushroomed into a public health epidemic. The sickness trumps age, success, location, education, intervention, rehabilitation and the love of friends and family. It stretches from prescription pill mills in Portsmouth to the University of Akron football field.

Last year, Cuyahoga County broke a record for heroin overdoses: 99 as compared to 106* in 2010, the very year the state set a record, according to an Ohio Department of Health report released last week. A drug overdose killed one Ohioan every six hours in 2010 -- a loss of 1,544 lives.

"Unintentional drug overdose continues to be the leading cause of injury-related death in Ohio, ahead of motor vehicle crashes, suicide and falls," the report stated.