Event hopes to stem tide of heroin addiction in Monroe Co. - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Event hopes to stem tide of heroin addiction in Monroe Co.

TEMPERANCE, MI (Toledo News Now) -

It sounds hard to believe but there's a heroin epidemic in Monroe County.

That's why on Saturday, the community held a 'Stand Against Heroin Rally' in Temperance.

Organizers of the event say there were 39 confirmed heroin overdose deaths in Monroe County in 2013.

They're scared the number could jump in 2014 if awareness is not brought to the problem.

"They can get it from Detroit. Toledo, got a big problem. Lots of kids in the community can run over the state line to get it," said event organizer Brenda Alcock.

Mike McKeon is a recovering heroin addict.

"Back in July I had an overdose. I was in a coma," said Mr. McKeon.

He says 90 percent of heroin addiction begins with prescription drug usage.

"I think it's all about medication. It really starts there. There's a big epidemic with that around town. A lot of kids find it readily available," said Mr. McKeon.

Besides speakers like Mike, tables with information on where to turn to for help were set up.

Sylvania's 'Race for Recovery' organization were there.

"I think parents need to be brutally honest with their children and let them know what the effects of drugs and alcohol are," said Deb Lewis of Race for Recovery.

Meanwhile, state legislators in Michigan are expected to receive a bill in the coming weeks to increase penalties for the sale and manufacture of drugs like heroin.

It's all an effort to curb the growing tide of addiction in places like Monroe County.

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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