Ohio town sees decrease in number of overdoses
Ohio has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, with thousands of deaths and countless overdoses. Now, at least in Middletown, OH, there seems to be some small signs of improvement. As officials gathered for the 12th annual Heroin Summit, there were some positive statistics to review.
As reported by LimaOhio.com, In March 2017, there were 149 overdoses in the city, said Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw. But in the last four months, the overdoses have averaged “just” 50 per month, he said.
And last month, for the first time, the Heroin Response Team, comprised of police officers, paramedics and social workers, had no cases to follow-up, said Maj. David Birk.
To reduce the number of overdoses and those addicted to heroin and meth, Middletown Judge James Sherron is taking steps in his courtroom. Last week, when defendants faced a drug charge and after they told the judge they were “drug free,” he ordered drug screenings.
Of the eight tested Friday, most came back positive for drugs in their system, Sherron said. He called the screenings “the moment of truth.”
He also has placed drug treatment providers in his courtroom and encouraged them to interview potential clients who are defendants. He wants those addicted to drugs in treatment by 5 p.m. that day, and if they’re not, they risk going back to jail, he said. The goal, he said, is for them to seek “immediate treatment” after their release from jail or instead of incarceration.
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To read more about how one Ohio town is starting to see progress in the fight against opioid addiction, please visit LimaOhio.com.