Heroin

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. "

Pages