Cuyahoga County announces plans in fight against heroin epidemic - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Cuyahoga County announces plans in fight against heroin epidemic

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Cuyahoga county officials announce Heroin Initiative Cuyahoga county officials announce Heroin Initiative
Fitzgerald announced the epidemic will be fought be targeting dealers and outfitting law enforcement officials with an antidote. Fitzgerald announced the epidemic will be fought be targeting dealers and outfitting law enforcement officials with an antidote.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The heroin problem has became so bad here in Northeast Ohio Cuyahoga County leaders are being forced to act and act fast.

They formed a coalition that includes experts from the medical, legal and law enforcement communities to plan to attack the heroin problem from several new angles.

Those involved in the initiative include U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach, Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin D. Williams, and Cuyahoga County Sheriff Frank Bova.

The new plan is expected to take prosecution and treatment into account.

Before Anita Bradley was a successful businesswoman she was addicted to the drugs that nearly killed her.

"I really had to hit the lows," she described her former heroin habit.

On Monday, April 21 Law enforcement announced the new aggressive measures to hold heroin dealers accountable to the full extent of the law.

Not counting the first quarter of this year, heroin deaths have skyrocketed locally, increasing by 50 percent since 2012. The epidemic knows no boundaries.

Much of the problem shows up in the suburbs and begins when prescription medications runout. People then turn to the cheaper alternative on the streets which is heroin.

But Anita Bradley with the Northern Ohio Recovery Association says addicts must first realize they need help.

Bradley described, "They have to actually do the work. We can give them information but you got to do the work."

Beyond addicts realizing they need help, law enforcement officers now know how to deal with heroin overdoses.

Part of that instruction comes from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

"Take the power of forensic science and apply it to what is a very serious problem in our community," said Dr. Thomas Gilson.

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