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Hamilton County Heroin Coalition hosts community forum on drug addiction

As work continues in the greater Cincinnati area to fight drug addiction, concerned citizens took advantage of a community forum to get answers to a variety of questions (WKRC)

CINCINNATI, OH. (WKRC) – As work continues in the greater Cincinnati area to fight drug addiction, concerned citizens took advantage of a community forum to get answers to a variety of questions.

Inside the downtown library Captain Mike Neville of the Cincinnati Police Department, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan, Kevin Finn of Strategies to End Homelessness and Dr. Shawn Ryan of Brightview Health spoke and took questions about what’s happening in the communities affected by drug use and overdose deaths.

Creating new relationships is a start in the right direction according to members of the panel. Recovery has to start with a conversation.

"Discussions are very important, that's why we are here,” said Captain Neville. “You could tell people had questions and they just did not know where to go with their concerns."

Some were seeking information on where to find help for a loved one.

Others asked about how addicts get help within a jail.

And a few want to know what new programs are out there and what’s working.

“Any conversation around addiction and working it out conversations is beneficial no matter what,” said Cincinnati State University student Jeremy Ross.

And one man wanted advice.

"How do I get that message across? How do I change the narrative in some of these communities where people are literally protesting Narcan distribution? "

The more connections made with people who want change is something Chief Synan is striving for.

“The key is getting the public the knowledge to better understand the issue. Get them involved and if nothing else get educated on the issue,” said Synan. “We realize in law enforcement that this is beyond us. Once we get past the addiction side of it, it’s got to be the people who are experts in it.”

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition will have another gathering on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Norwood High School.

For more information, click here.

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