Cincinnati does have a rather large drug problem, and its a direct result of the after riots bend over the CPD took. CPD has been handcuffed by PC and affirmative action for almost ten years now. The condition of the city proves this.
This particular area of the city is not to bad, but it is surrounded by crap. It is a possibility that the soldier was buying drugs, but there are also several bars, restaurants and honest entertainment venues close by. My bet is he was leaving or heading to one of those businesses.
Cincinnati news outlets are notorious for hiring less than professional reporters. In short, their stories often suck because of this.