Heroin epidemic overtakes Ohio

Opinion

In recent years, Ohio has been ranked the top state for drug overdose deaths in the country, with all ages affected. If this does not frighten you, it should.

The total number of unintentional heroin overdoses in Ohio has been increasing significantly since 2014. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 1,196 heroin-related deaths in 2014.

In 2015, there were 1,424 heroin deaths, increasing from the previous year’s toll by 228.

Last year, in 2016, the death toll ended up at 1,444, and the death tolls keep growing in 2017.

In June of this year, NBC4i.com released a report regarding deaths from overdose in Franklin County, Ohio.

The shocking 66 percent increase in overdoses only took into account the months through January and April. According to their data, there have been 173 deaths in Franklin County during 2017, while there were 104 deaths in the same time frame the year prior.

Reported by Melissa Voetsch from 13ABC, on January 4, 2017, a 20-year-old female in Milan, Ohio lost her life due to a two-year heroin addiction.

Keep in mind: Milan, Ohio, is only two hours away from Columbus, Ohio.

Likewise, a 13-year-old boy from Dayton, Ohio passed away from a heroin overdose on March 29, 2017. Not even the antidote Narcan could bring him back. Today, his father is behind bars, as reported by WDTN.

Keep in mind: Dayton, Ohio, is one hour and 15 minutes away from Columbus, Ohio.

In regards to Franklin County, it is no better. According to Columbus Dispatch, “Franklin County overdose deaths soared to 279 last year, a 42 percent jump from 196 in 2014. The county leads the state in heroin seizures by the Highway Patrol, 76 pounds from 2010 through 2015.”

This is just within Capital University’s backyard.

With Ohio leading overdoses in the nation back to back to back years, Ohio Governor, John Kasich, signed a Narcan expansion bill in the beginning of 2017.

According to the Chronicle, “The bill the Republican governor signed Wednesday afternoon will make the antidote naloxone, sold as Narcan, available to schools, homeless shelters, halfway houses and treatment centers.”

Narcan is a known anti-overdose drug that is used to fight against addictions such as heroin.

Capital University’s police chief, Francisco Fernandez, has stated that although Capital Police have not experienced any heroin issues, they are now trained and equipped to carry Narcan.

Back in 2016, website wkyc.com stated that Narcan saved 2,200+ lives in Ohio alone.

According to Fox45, a man named Billy in Dayton, Ohio, has been saved by Narcan twice during an overdose.

For each overdose in Ohio, one dose of Narcan will cost $37.50 or $75 for a spray, with one dose not always being enough to save a person’s life.

Although Narcan saves lives, it still comes at a price, and that price is paid by taxpayers. The price for Narcan has caused debate throughout counties and cities in Ohio.

In Cincinnati, Sheriff Richard K. Jones, from Butler County has begun to refuse his policemen from wearing and using Narcan.

“All we’re doing is reviving them, we’re not curing them. One person we know has been revived 20 separate times,” he said, according to NBC News. “Here in Ohio, the live squads (paramedics) get in there about the same time, and they’re more equipped to use Narcan.”

There is now a campaign over this Ohio Ballot issue.

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