Major spike in heroin overdoses has first responders on high ale - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Major spike in heroin overdoses has first responders on high alert

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)
LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) -

It seems like every week there is a report on the heroin epidemic in Ohio and around the country,and it seems to be getting a lot worse. Last week in Cincinnati, there were 60 heroin overdoses reported in just two days. 

Experts in Toledo say there is no easy solution to the problem, but increased awareness is key. 

“We’re seeing multiple overdoses every single day,” said Dennis Whaley, part of the Drug Abuse Response Team (DART). 

He says more people are overdosing partly because of an increase in the potency of the heroin. 

“The mix we see right now is fentanyl, which is ten times stronger than morphine,” said Whaley. “Then there's also I'm not sure what the name is but elephant tranquilizer, which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl.” 

And the stronger the heroin, the larger the dose of narcan – the heroin antidote that paramedics use to revive abusers. 

“When they're responding to these overdoses it pulls them away from all these other emergencies that are happening in the community,” said Whaley. 

He says he doesn’t think we’ve seen the worst of the heroin epidemic yet. 

“I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I don't even think we've seen the peak of it yet,” said Whaley. 

Whaley says there is simply not enough supply of treatment options to keep up with the number of people addicted. 

“Hopefully we can just get more resources. Like I said we have 16 detox beds for allegedly 10,000 people addicted to opiates in Lucas County,” said Whaley.

Law enforcement is also targeting the dealers supplying and selling heroin, but tracking down and prosecuting those dealers can be a lengthy and complicated process.

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