Drug abuse has reached epidemic level in Ohio

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine was in Trumbull County for the seventh of his town hall meetings on drug abuse in the state. WKBN First News was at the meeting and found out that it is an epidemic in the state, but there is also success stories along the way.

“Two days after his last hospital stay, died in his mother’s home in Howland, Ohio with a needle in his arm. So I am here to tell you that it can affect any familly,” said April Caraway, Trumbull Mental Health and Recovery Board.

From April Caraway’s cousin to Kim Webb’s son, the personal stories about drug overdose in the valley continue to climb.

“I knew he was doing pills, and I thought he had stopped and he did not. And then he turned to heroin. I saw something on his arm, he said it was a mosquito bite and it progressed from there,” said Kim Webb, of Howland.

These stories were shared Thursday at a town hall meeting put on by the state Attorney General Mike DeWine.

DeWine says that the state drug problem is at an epidemic level.

“We have a heroin epidemic in this state. We have a prescription pill problem in this state, and we have a meth problem in this state,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General.

Statewide heroin deaths are alarming.

Initial numbers from the Attorney General’s office for the valley show 33 heroin overdoses in 2013: 19 in Columbiana County; 12 in Trumbull and 2 in Mahoning.

“We have got to stop hiding this. We have to bring this in the open and say yes there is a problem. And that is what I heard today, not only was it a very large crowd, but a very engaged crowd,” said DeWine.

“The stigma keeps a lot of people from talking but not me, I love my son until the day he dies and if he were to die tomorrow because he relapsed again I will know he tried,” said Webb.

Webb’s son is in an absolute house in Cleveland where she says he is making progress everyday.

“He has been there a month and he has gained 26 pounds. I am proud today to say that man is my son,” said Webb.



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