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.