Attorney General Mike DeWine's office sent out a letter to the general public today about the problem of heroin use in Ohio. Read below:
Heroin is killing Ohioans at record levels. My office recently surveyed coroners from across the state who reported the number of heroin deaths in their counties. Though not all the numbers are in yet for last year, we believe at least 900 Ohioans died directly from a heroin overdose. That number doesn't include the hundreds of other deaths where heroin was a contributing factor.
Heroin is everywhere. It is in every county in Ohio. It is cheap. It is plentiful. And, it is deadly.
As Attorney General, my mission is to protect Ohio families. I created a Heroin Unit in my office to help local law enforcement and citizens fight back against this deadly scourge. Also, I have held nine community drug forums around the state, where we brought together law enforcement, community activists, business leaders, family members who have lost loved ones to drugs, and others to talk openly about the heroin epidemic in their neighborhoods.
As part of our Heroin Unit, we are helping law enforcement by providing tools to fight drug trafficking. But, as sheriffs and police chiefs across Ohio have told me, we are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. Grassroots, community involvement is vital. That is why I have put together an outreach team in my office to work directly with communities to bring leaders, law enforcement, and concerned citizens together to figure out prevention strategies that best meet the needs of individual communities.
Please take a moment to read this story from Preble County following a recent meeting with local law enforcement, where we discussed the heroin problem.