TOLEDO (WTOL) - “It’s sad that it’s coming to this in our city, but it’s 2019 in Ohio and we’re ground zero,” said Matt Bell, C.E.O. of Midwest Recovery Center.
He made a disturbing discovery and posted a warning on Facebook. That post has been shared more than 4,000 times.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve seen that. I see it all the time,” said Bell about the discovery.
It was last weekend in a restroom of a fast food restaurant in west Toledo where Matt Bell snapped the photos of what appears to be drug residue and the knot from the baggie containing drugs. He said while many people may overlook something like this in a bathroom, he knows there’s danger here and felt the need to share.
“Four years ago, I was doing that stuff and I didn’t care. All I cared about was getting the next one and feeling ok,” said Bell.
Bell is what he calls an addict in remission. He got clean four years ago and decided to help others do the same and now runs Midwest Recovery Center. He said public bathrooms have become an easy place for addicts to get their fix. He said it’s not just toilet paper dispensers, but changing tables and sinks too.
He explains it like this: “You need to use it as soon as possible and sometimes going back home is not an option. You’re throwing up. You have diarrhea. You’re shaking. You’re hot and cold, whatever it is, and the closest place with running water that you can not get bombarded by a police officer is unfortunately a public restroom,” said Bell.
“This is common,” confirmed Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.
He said parents should be observant when taking their kids into a public restroom.
“If you see something that doesn’t look right, know that it’s probably not. Trust your gut feeling and leave the restroom immediately,” advised Sheriff Tharp.
Bell said his post wasn’t meant to invoke fear in parents. He just wants people to know what’s going on, to protect their families.
“You can put your keys up there and it can get on your keys. You can put your phone up there and then you give it to your kids to watch in the backseat. It’s just. It’s sad,” said Bell.