Just as Ohio is making progress in the battle against prescription drug abuse, it's getting overrun by heroin, Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday. The Akron Beacon Journal said at least 11 Ohioans die each week from heroin-related overdoses. “We have a heroin epidemic,” DeWine said, announcing formation of a Heroin Unit in his office.
The spread of cheap, potent heroin from Mexico and other countries has sent drug abuse and overdoses skyrocketing in the region. DeWine said there were more than 600 heroin overdose deaths in the state in 2012, more than double the number in 2010. Comprehensive numbers are uncertain because of variations in responses from county coroners and in how they investigate and record heroin deaths, he added. He also said the number would be much higher if it included heroin-related deaths, such as those from crimes involving the drug.