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Drugs suspected in serious rollover in Seneca County

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says "drugged driving" has become a major issue on state roadways. (Jim Nelson/WNWO).

A Gibsonburg man is in critical condition after he was thrown from his car during a rollover early Saturday morning in Seneca County.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) suspects drug were a factor.

It's a trend that has law enforcement agencies on high alert.

"It's a tremendous issue," said Sgt. Matt Geer of the OSHP Bowling Green Post, which was not involved in the incident in Seneca County. "We've always had a problem with the alcohol imparied drivers. It seems the drug imparied drivers are becoming more prevelant. A lot more crashes."

Troopers say around 2:30 Saturday morning, Nathan Jividen, 33, of Gibsonburg was traveling northbound on County Road 31 in Seneca County when he lost control and veered off the right side of the roadway. According to an OSHP news release, he then veered off the opposite side of the roadway before striking a telephone pole.

Jividen was reportedly not wearing his seat belt and was thrown from his 2003 Ford Taurus.

He was air lifted to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, which as of Sunday evening listed Jividen in critical condition.

Officials say drugs likely contributed to the crash, but could not confirm the type of drugs suspected.

Sgt. Geer says opiates have been a major contributor to the uptick in drug-related crashes.

A recovering addict recently told NBC 24 of his experience.

"You get to the point where you're so high you don't realize you're driving," says Joshua Dressel. "I nodded out -- I drove off into a ditch and woke up hitting a mailbox. In my mind, thinking it was okay to drive."

Geer says troopers have undergone training specifically aimed at recognizing drugged driving cases.

"We do our part to at least get them off the road and go through the court process," he said. "Hopefully they can get some help once they get into court."

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