Coroner: Addiction is in every part of Montgomery County
CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)-- The deaths of Brian and Courtney Halye would be the sixth and seventh overdose in Centerville in 2017. That is nearly twice as many as the city saw in all of last year, when there were four deaths.
The neighborhood where the couple died is still in shock after finding out is most likely a drug overdose.
"We don't know what are neighbors are taking. We have this image, as you said of the back alley person. No, we have professionals. They could be teachers, they could be doctors, we don't know who is taking this but the deaths are occurring in the entire county," Ken Betz the Director of the Montgomery County Regional Crime Lab said.
Betz said Montgomery County had 259 overdose deaths in 2015, 356 last year and 165 suspected OD's this year. That could mean as many as 800 deaths if the trend continues.
"If that isn't a frightening wake up to the community that something has to be done and we're seeing it spread out (around the county). Accidental drug deaths have no zip code. It is everywhere. It is not (just) a Dayton problem. It is a suburban problem," Betz said.
Fentanyl is suspected in their deaths, but can't be confirmed until the toxicology reports come back on the two.
"It is regular people that you would not expect using heroin. In fact, some people go to work every day and can function on heroin," Ann Stevens, the Public Information Officer for the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services said.
Brian Halyle was a pilot for Spirit Airlines. The couple had four kids between them, who are staying with family.
"We know here in Montgomery County at children's services, they're being greatly affected by the heroin epidemic. They are seeing more children come into foster care (because of the epidemic)," Stevens said.
The area is still in shock something like this happened in their neighborhood.
"I think it's naive on our part to just think of the heroin epidemic as something that affects poor people or the inner city or the underprivileged. It is not. It is in the suburbs and that is where it's being used primarily," Stevens said.
Betz said police and paramedics are finding similar scenes across the county when it comes to overdose victims.
"Many of them the syringe is either still in their arm or nearby them and the problem is they have no idea what they're taking, what they're shooting up," Betz said.
Betz also said they are seeing an increase in the number of middle-aged men and especially women dying from overdoses.
"These are young to middle-aged folks and most of them have kids and what are we doing to that generation right now?" Betz said.