Heroin use is up in Findlay - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Heroin use is up in Findlay

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - Heroin is a drug whose popularity is rising because it's so cheap.

Findlay has especially seen the increase and is dealing with two overdose deaths in the last six months.

The Hancock Co. Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board says drug overdoses are killing Ohioans at an alarming rate, even more than traffic accidents.

Since his grandson died, one man has made it his mission to fight the drug problem in Findlay. Tony Grotrian has tried to go to every drug trial he could and met with the city's leaders pushing stricter punishment for drug dealers.

"The drug laws need to be changed," Grotrian said. "I feel like we do too much plea bargaining."

He calls his mission "Save our Kids." His great granddaughter is his driving force. She lost her father to a drug overdose two weeks after her first birthday.

Tony isn't the only one spreading the message. The Findlay Police Dept. is visiting schools, educating kids about heroin, telling them that it is very, very addictive.

Findlay Police Chief Greg Horne says many heroin addicts start with addictions to prescription medication. Just this year, the department says they've recovered twice as much of the drug.

"A drug that's very addictive. It is readily available and it's cheap. Those three things are really bad," Horne said.

It's a grim reality one family faced Thursday.

Friends and families said goodbye to Taylor Akerman, 19, who died from a heroin overdose January 30.

"His funeral service was held in the same room as my grandson's was in," said Tony.

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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