WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Since March 1, people in Trumbull County have been dying from drug overdoses at a rate never seen before. Coroner Humphrey Germaniuk said Monday that 16 people have died from overdoses so far in the county this month — up six from WKBN’s last report on Friday.
There was an open discussion about drug addiction at North Mar Church in Warren Monday night.
Germaniuk does not track overdoses, but there were 82 in Trumbull County from March 1 to 15.
“I had a 48-year-old [die] yesterday,” he said. “I’ve got a 31-year-old woman who brought heroin this afternoon — early afternoon — and by 4 o’clock, she was dead.”
One of those 16 people who died from overdosing was 29-year-old David Anthony Reed. He was found March 11 in a parking lot along Elm Road.
His father, Brian Reed — who was at Monday’s meeting of about 275 people — learned on Facebook that someone had died, but didn’t know it was his son.
“I said prayers for the family. An hour, hour-and-a-half go by, detectives come to my house and let me know it was my son.”
April Caraway of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board hosted Monday’s meeting. She has closely monitored the spike in overdoses the past two weeks.
“We know they haven’t really subsided,” Caraway said. “We’re still having overdoses every single day — and being revived, thankfully, with the naloxone.”
Because of the backlog in testing, no one can say exactly what’s in the drugs that are causing so many overdoses and deaths in Trumbull County. Germaniuk said a drug analysis used to be six to eight weeks but with so many of them, it’s now up to ten weeks.
Also at Monday’s meeting was 59-year-old Thomas Holko, of Braceville, who, until a year and a half ago, was a heroin addict himself.
“I don’t even think they’re really buying heroin,” Holko said.
He said they might be buying pure fentanyl.
Warren’s Tracey Kelsh attended the discussion to learn about the warning signs to make sure her 17-year-old daughter stays away from drugs.
“When parents are driving down the road and OD’ing with their kids in the car,” she said. “I mean, what’s the world coming to?”
Prior to the 82 overdoses in Trumbull County in the first half of March, there were 73 overdoses in January and 45 in February.
For more on the drug epidemic in our Valley, visit the Heroin Crisis section on WKBN.com.