Ohio Attorney General On Viral Overdose Photo: 'We Want To Be Able To Get People Into Treatment'

By Victoria Kim 09/22/16

Ohio AG Mike DeWine thinks the photo “drives home the reality of what heroin is.”

Ohio Attorney General On Viral Overdose Photo: 'We Want To Be Able To Get People Into Treatment’
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Photo: via YouTube

Ohio is still reeling from the spike in overdose cases in recent months. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is on damage control, traveling through the state to raise awareness of the opioid crisis.

DeWine recently responded to the widely circulated photo of an Ohio couple who had overdosed, taken by a police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio. “I think it drives home the reality of what heroin is,” DeWine said, according to WKSU

The attorney general apparently had “mixed feelings” about the photo. “If you can hear this, you have a heroin problem in your community because every community in the state of Ohio has a heroin problem,” he said. “Second, though, we want to be able to get people into treatment.”

DeWine called for more drug education starting in kindergarten through high school, and emphasized the importance of dealing with the drug crisis from a grassroots community level.

The graphic photo, which shows the couple passed out in the front of their SUV and a four-year-old boy in the back seat, was just another consequence of Ohio’s drug overdose problem.

The woman shown in the passenger’s seat, the boy’s grandmother, was sentenced last Thursday to 180 days in jail for child endangerment. The man received 360 days in jail for child endangerment and operating a vehicle under the influence.

Throughout July and August, Ohio made national headlines for the high rate of overdoses reported in the state. In July, the city of Akron saw a dramatic spike in overdose cases. According to Ohio.com, the city reported 236 cases in a three week period. 

In August, many more overdosed in the Cincinnati area—174 of the cases occurred in just a six day span.

Authorities suspect the mass ODs were caused by heroin cut with carfentanil, a powerful tranquilizer used on large animals like elephants that’s 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

This week, Ohio authorities apprehended two people who they believe distributed heroin cut with carfentanil. They were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday and face a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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