UPDATE: Dayton to take part in new program to fight opioid epidemic
UDPATE: It's no secret how bad the heroin epidemic is in Dayton and the Miami Valley.
"We've taken 70 poubnds of fentanyl and heroin off the streets. We've taken $5.5 million off the cartel, it hasn't slowed the problem down one bit," Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said.
Sheriff Plummer says he reads every overdose death report each day.
"People are dying in their bathrooms because they're hiding in the shadows because they're embarrassed about this epidemic," Sheriff Plummer said.
Plummer and the rest of the community are renewing their fight against the opioid epidemic. They're getting a little help from the Feds in the form of a pilot program Dayton is joining. It's called DEA 360.
"There is hope. Our communities our very resilient. Not just in East Dayton but in the Dayton are and Montgomery County as a whole," Emily Surico, the Crime, Safety, Health Prevention Initiatives at East End Community Services said.
DEA 360 is a three-pronged approach. First is law enforcement is teaming up to bring down drug trafficking organizations.
Second, working with drug makers, wholesalers, doctors and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem. This also includes pushing for responsible prescribing of the opioids.
Lastly, community outreach. This is focused on educating the public to the dangers of prescription drug and heroin abuse, as well as getting people into treatment.
"I get to see people hitting rock bottom and we see them overcome that and they become productive citizens and they get back on track," Surico said.
Last year in Montgomery County, 349 people died of a drug overdose. So far this year 437 people have already died.
"Let's embrace this epidemic as the public and reach out to these individuals who are struggling. We talk to kids all the time and not one raises his hand and says 'I want to be a heroin addict or I want to be a prostitute.' Nobody, that's nobody's goal in life," Sheriff Plummer said.
The DEA and its partners also plan to host summits here in the future. These events aim to bring the community together to bring attention to the issue and look for ways to stop the drug abuse.
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Dayton has been chosen to take part in a new program to fight back against the opioid epidemic.
The "360 Degree Strategy" is a three-fold approach to the epidemic, using law enforcement, pharmaceutical control and community outreach. Timothy J. Plancon is a special agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, he made the announcement in Dayton Thursday about the program, "We are striving to find innovative strategies to confront the opioid epidemic. The DEA is collaborating with professionals from law enforcement, drug prevention, drug treatment, and the medical community, to attack this problem on multiple fronts."
The DEA hopes the 360 plan will help the epidemic by addressing the treat is poses to the community and giving resources and education.