WYSO

Heroin

A new Ohio law offers immunity from prosecution to people trying to get help for someone overdosing on drugs or overdose victims themselves who seek assistance.

The law taking effect Tuesday covers people calling 911, contacting a police officer or taking an overdose victim to a medical facility for up to two times. They would again be subject to prosecution on the third call.

 

Heroin Fentanyl Pills
Drug Enforcement Agency

A recent spike of heroin related overdose deaths in southwest Ohio has officials across state lines concerned and looking for answers. To get more details on what those possible answers might be, WYSO's Jerry Kenney spoke with Terry DeMio, a reporter on the heroin beat for the Cincinnati inquirer to get the latest details.

Tom Kavana/Flickr Creative Commons

The head of a Cincinnati-area drug task force is calling on the state to declare a public health emergency to free up more resources for fighting heroin.

After a recent spike of overdoses, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan, who heads the task force, is calling the situation a public health crisis. 

Police in Cincinnati are asking for the public's help in finding the source of the suspected heroin behind an estimated 78 overdoses in just two days this week.

Authorities believe the same batch is linked to three recent deaths.

They say there were an estimated 78 overdoses on Tuesday and Wednesday and a total of 174 overdoses in emergency rooms within the past week.

Local officials are calling it a public health emergency.

Thomas Marthinsen

Drug overdose deaths are still on the rise in Montgomery County according to first quarter 2016 numbers.

The Montgomery County Poisoning Death Review tracks and analyzes unintentional drug overdose deaths. According to its report, early 2016 saw a 130% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths in the County compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The report indicates a 26% increase in deaths from illicit Fentanyl in the community. 

Ohio troopers say they seized about seven times as much heroin during the first half of 2016 as they did during the same period last year.

The State Highway Patrol attributes the increase at least in part to several large drug busts.

The rise comes amid other signs that Ohio's opiate problems continue to grow. The Cleveland area saw 15 overdose deaths in a recent three-day span that were attributed to heroin, the synthetic opiate fentanyl or a combination of those.

Customs officials in Cincinnati seized 10 pounds of heroin in one summer shipment.

www.heroinaddiction.com

The overdose death of a pregnant woman in Clark County this week is yet another reminder of the growing epidemic of drug addiction.  In 2015, there were 73 drug overdose deaths in Clark County, almost double from the previous year.  Almost all of them were related to heroin or fentanyl, a much stronger drug than heroin.  Officials say buyers often don't know which one they're getting.

April Laissle

Montgomery County has the second highest heroin overdose rate in the state of Ohio. It’s a problem that has left commissioners from the City of Dayton and Montgomery County desperate for answers.

 

At a crowded joint meeting held to discuss the epidemic, representatives from area health organizations explained the hard facts of the issue, and why tackling it has become so complex.

The coroner in southwest Ohio's largest county says overdose deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl have overtaken heroin deaths.
 
Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco says overdose deaths in the county totaled 414 in 2015. That's about a 40 percent increase over the previous year.
 
Sammarco says 238 deaths were fentanyl-related and 198 were heroin-related. A coroner's spokesman adds that there was some overlap, with some of those deaths involving both drugs.
 

A Decade Of Dope: One Woman Recalls Seeking Out Heroin

Apr 3, 2016
Woman's Voices prison dayton correctional
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Aimee Wissman is three years into an eight-year sentence at Dayton Correctional Institution for crimes related to her heroin addiction. As an artist, she idolized famous musicians and writers who were known heroin addicts, and she thought that particular drug would be her ticket into their glamorous lifestyle.

In this story, Aimee Wissman is interviewed by fellow DCI resident Melody Williams about her decade of drug addiction.

Highlights from the audio:

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