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The opioid epidemic continues to plague the state of Ohio. One national ranking earlier this year put Dayton No. 1 on its list of “most drugged out cities in America.” Solving the problem has become a priority for lawmakers and community leaders.
Here's a look at how the issue is affecting southwest Ohio.
Making a serious dent in the heroin problem requires more than keeping addicts alive with a wonder drug or attacking the supply chain. It means attacking the demand with the right treatment — and the right length of treatment.
And it requires that those in the throes of addiction make the painful choice to break through the cycle.
A potential consequence of the area’s heroin crisis is that children are enduring longer stays in foster care because unification efforts with their families have failed, interviews with child welfare experts and data compiled by this newspaper suggest.
A new program will try to stop the revolving door where heroin addicts find themselves in trouble with the law, in jail and back on the streets only to repeat the cycle.
The Front Door Initiative aims to push heroin and fentanyl users who come into contact with police – typically through emergency overdose calls — into outpatient treatment immediately instead of jail.
“It’s in our backyard. It’s here in our close region,” said Ken Betz director of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab. “Dayton people can clearly buy some.”
The nation is now painfully familiar with the opiates that cause death: prescription pain pills, heroin and fentanyl. But the raging opioid epidemic has also introduced Americans to a drug that literally brings people back to life from an opioid overdose.
Naloxone — often called by the brand name Narcan — is known as the “Lazarus drug.”