TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The opiate epidemic has been making headlines in Northwest Ohio for a while now, making some people concerned it might be desensitizing those who aren't directly impacted.
And, community leaders are doing their best to get the public educated, but are residents taking advantage?
Lieutenant Robert Chromik with DART says, recently, they've started to see more of a presence at these opiate forums especially in highly impacted areas like East and West Toledo.
"There are some areas that are just in complete denial and think there is no issue going on in their communities, it's there, it's everywhere", said Chromik.
He calls it the silent death. And he adds the more people that start talking, and get the facts, the better this will get.
"They're starting to come out now, and either standing up against the stigmas against their children or their loved ones and the stereotypes applied to them," said Chromik.
When these addicts need to get their fix, they're willing to go to any length to do so causing there to be even more crime in our area
"They're in so much pain and they're going through these withdrawal symptoms, they will do anything to get that money so they can get that drug and relieve those symptoms and there is no way anybody is ever going to be able to figure out what those symptoms are unless they sit down with either a recovered addict or somebody going through it so they can see it or hear it firsthand," said Chromik.
The more knowledgeable everyone in Northwest Ohio is about what is happening, the better our community will be, says Chromik.
He adds, he doesn't know when it will end or if there is a cure, but the best way to make it better is to be educated on the issue.
The next forum in Lucas County is happening Monday night, Jan. 23 at the Zablocki Senior Center on 3015 Lagrange Street from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.