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New Unit Formed to Fight Heroin Abuse
CINCINNATI (Larry Davis) -- Ohio's formation of a new unit to help fight heroin abuse raises awareness to the rising epidemic in the tri-state.
This past summer there were two huge anti-heroin rallies here in the streets of Hamilton held by parents and siblings whose families have been ripped apart by the drug- bringing awareness to the overall problem. The leaders of a support group in the formation of a heroin unit said that it is not a solution to the problem, but rather, a good first step. The establishment of a heroin unit is welcome news to Tammie Norris and Candy Baker Abbott.
Thank God. Finally people are hearing us and we arent just down here shouting from the grass roots, says Norris. It is nice to know that we have been heard. We are going to continue to be heard. We arent going anywhere.
Last summer the mothers of two heroin addicts formed a group called Heroin Control. They reached out to others who have had loved ones who are fighting or who have already lost the battle to heroin. They held rallies in downtown Hamilton. Some 300 people took to the streets.
Ive meet a lot of good people- people who have lost their children and people who are fighting for their children. Abbott says.
Norris says an addict made this angel wings poster -26 names of heroin victims went up in the first hour of the first rally. Abbott says she hopes she will never have to add one name in particular to that poster.
The angel wings on top, Ive left open for my daughter, because you never know.
Both mothers applaud the Attorney Generals formation of the state heroin unit, but feel more has to be done locally to treat addicts.
We have no place for these people to detox. In our group, we have people who will contact us and they want help, but they need detox. Norris says.
These two mothers pledge that they will not give up their fight.
We are determined there is no going back. Weve hit brick walls and detours, but you go through it, go around it or find a different path. We might have to take a break-regroup- but we are coming back.
Hamilton County has the fourth highest heroin overdose rate in the state as of last year. Montgomery County to the north was number two. Butler County, right in the middle of those two, had a number of 33 heroin deaths last year. According to the coroners office, there have been 46 heroin overdose deaths this year alone.