Drugs

Twin Towers in Dayton. St. Mary's Church, in the background, is central to the neighborhood's history. east side east end
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Accidental overdoses, including those caused by heroin, continue to rise in Ohio and in Montgomery County. Now a local non-profit is joining the fight to turn those numbers around.

www.heroinaddiction.com

Unintentional drug overdoses are still on the rise in Montgomery County: new numbers released Tuesday by public health officials show unintentional drug deaths jumped from 162 in 2012 to 226 in 2013.

Overdoses have been increasing since 2010, but officials call the 71 percent jump in deaths “unprecedented."

Bill Wharton with Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County says it’s going to take everyone in the community to deal with the problem.

An Ohio bill would require schools to include information in their health curricula about preventing abuse of prescription drugs.

State law already mandates instruction about nutrition, alcohol abuse and personal safety among other topics.

Under the proposal passed by the House last week, schools would be required to update their health curricula with information about the addictive properties of prescription opioids and their links to heroin.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine brought the buckeye state's war on drugs to Clark County Wednesday afternoon.

A panel of health experts and law enforcement held a town hall meeting at Springfield High School to discuss Ohio's ongoing battle against drug abuse.

At the forum, DeWine presented staggering numbers regarding Ohioans who have died from overdoses in the past year - almost 2,000 heroin related deaths alone.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

On Wednesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced the launch of a statewide drug education program called “Start Talking.” The program encourages parents and teachers to talk to young people about the dangers of heroin and prescription drugs.

At the launch event at West Carrollton Middle School south of Dayton, many of the speeches were emotional.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has formed a unit of his office to deal with what he says is a heroin epidemic in Ohio.

“Frankly we have to fight this epidemic at the grass roots level, community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, village by village, township by township, city by city," says DeWine.  "Communities have to get mad and simply say enough is enough. New information our office has recently collected suggests that, at a minimum, eleven people die each week in Ohio because of heroin. "

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has reported more drug-related arrests and seizures in Ohio in the first half of this year compared with the first six months of 2012. 

Recently released patrol statistics show troopers made 4,728 drug arrests January through June for an 18 percent increase over the same period last year. The Dayton Daily News reports that is a rise of 42 percent compared to the average number of arrests from 2010 through 2012.

A program training law enforcement officers in Ohio to recognize whether drivers are drug-impaired is drawing praise from prosecutors and others, while criminal defense attorneys say such assessments aren't scientifically accurate.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 71 law-enforcement officers statewide have completed training as certified drug-recognition experts since 2010. The program goes beyond sobriety tests to train officers to determine whether someone is impaired from drugs or a medical condition.

The head of Ohio's addictions agency plans to talk about new data showing state residents still dying from drug overdoses at record rates.

Orman Hall is director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. He also will use a news conference Tuesday afternoon to push for addiction treatment and other health care services for all Ohioans.

Data released last week show the number of people who died of accidental overdoses jumped 14 percent in 2011 for a total of over 17 hundred overall deaths.

Local police say some shopping going on at a major retail center isn't for clothes or appliances.

A recent drug bust at an auto detail shop was the latest in a series of actions near the Dayton Mall. The Dayton Daily News reports several arrests of suspected drug dealers in the past month.

A 20-year-old man was fatally shot April 4 at a beverage drive-thru near the mall amid an FBI drug investigation.

Authorities say the heavily traveled area with many parking lots gives drug dealers opportunities for quick, car-to-car sales.

Pages