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Heroin Overdose Deaths on the Rise
MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- The number of heroin overdose deaths is staggering, not just in Montgomery County, but across the state of Ohio.
Wednesday morning, the Attorney General is expected to announce a new effort to come up with ways to combat drug addiction and drug related crimes.
The heroin drug problem has been in the area for years, and has only gotten worse.
In May 2010, large amounts of heroin was found inside a home that no one would have ever suspected.
That year saw 42 people die from a heroin overdose.
"It surpassed crack cocaine and now it has become the prevailing drug in Dayton," said a Dayton Police undercover officer in November of 2011.
That same year, heroin becomes the drug of choice for addicts, killing 50 people.
And things go from bad to worse in 2012.
"I would say we get at least once overdose call every day, if not more than once a day," said Lt. Wendy Stiver, with the Dayton Police Department in July of 2012.
By October of that year, heroin has become so popular and so potent, 93 people died from an overdose.
And Grandview Hospital was seeing an average of two to four overdose patients a day.
"Unfortunately there's no FDA regulations from a street vendor so you you never know what you're buying from a dealer," Doctor Mike Pallaci, from Grandview Hospital in October of 2012.
But they aren't the streets that might come to mind.
In fact, the users tend to be white males ages 30 to 50 who live in the suburbs.
"It's everywhere, it's not as prevalent in the inner city type of environment as most people sometimes expect," said Dr. Kent Harshbarger, Montgomery County Coroner, "It's more suburban it's not exclusive to low economic status or anything like that so it's everywhere. It's in every walk of life it's in every community."
The deaths can be prevented by using a drug called "Narcan."
An antedote that stops the body's reaction to heroin, and essentially brings the user back to life.
Something these days the coroner believes should be readily available.
"If you're going to be a user than you can have the narcan available, at home essentially," said Dr. Harshbarger, "Is some of the thoughts to maybe help prevent some of the deaths."
The coroner's office says they've already seen 126 overdose deaths so far this year, and more than half of those have been because of heroin.
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