We live in a fantastic community here in Miami county. There are lots of reasons our family loves living here. Over the past year, however, I have realized that I’ve been oblivious to a huge problem in our own neighborhoods. It’s heroin…that’s right. It’s not just in the big cities anymore. It’s in Miami County.
“Everyone in Miami County has been touched by the deadly epidemic of heroin use or they will be touched by it soon.” Troy Fireman and Paramedic, Aaron Simmons, said this to a room full of people last week. In case you are not aware of the problem and what is being done about it, please read on.
Heroin use has become a huge epidemic in many parts of the US including Ohio and our own county. The mid-west, particularly Ohio, is at the top of the list for heroin use. In 2015, 2,500 Ohio residents died from drug overdoses. That’s the highest number on record. Heroin is responsible for 80% or about 2000 of those.
To give some comparison, automobile total fatalities on our roadways in Ohio for 2015 came to 1,029. Firearm fatalities were less than 1,200. Heroin deaths were both of these combined.
Here’s an astounding statistic. Naloxone, or Narcan, is a drug administered to those who have overdosed on heroin and are minutes away from death. It literally brings them back from sure death in seconds. In 2014, emergency crews in Ohio administered Narcan 15,493 times. That means that if those people had failed to receive Narcan all of them likely would have died. That would have meant approximately 17,000 heroin deaths in 2014 and even more in 2015. That is astounding.
If that many deaths had occurred (and it is likely that they would have) heroin would have become the number three largest cause of death in Ohio behind cancer – 25,000 and heart disease – 27,000.
That is why community leaders have taken the initiative to do something about the problem. There will be a countywide event to inform the public about how to get and give help at the Miami County Fairgrounds, Friday & Saturday, July 8-9. Come support the event and spread the word to others who need to be there. Read more in the following news articles.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine