By Victor Milani

The amount of people abusing heroin and opiates isn’t going away as some might have hoped. Locally, it might be getting WORSE!  Just in Northfield Village alone, there were 22 suspected ems/overdose runs, and 2 suspected deaths in 2016.  We must use the term “suspected” because autopsy/toxicology reports don’t always indicate an overdose as the cause of death.  In just in the past two months, Northfield Village had had 3 suspected deaths, and six calls for ems/overdose cases. Two OVERDOSES occurred at one house at the same time, with one victim passing away. Chief Tim Black of Macedonia, who covers Sagamore Hills and Northfield Center, states there have been 3 “SUSPECTED” DEATHS DUE TO OVERDOSES THIS YEAR ALREADY. The revival drug NARCAN, when given, can revive overdose victims, has had to be administered 15 times to various patients, some on more than one occasion.  All these numbers can be misleading however. Many times, the victims family/ friends can administer the Narcan themselves. These go unreported, as do deaths that are listed as heart attacks, but are brought on by an overdose. The HIPPA and medical privacy laws make it difficult to get to the real cause of death.

The ages and race of the victims doesn’t discriminate either. I don’t know of any family who has not had a family member or friend become a victim.  The Narcan drug comes in 2mg doses. Paramedics have told me of instances where they have had to give an overdose victim 8 -10 doses (20 mg), before they can bring the patient back to life. Many times, the Narcan is too late. There have been reports of Narcan parties, where abusers pass out, and just hope that Narcan can bring them back to life. For whatever the reason, Ohio statistically has the worst problem with opiates in the country per capita. Summit County, Akron and Cuyahoga Falls have been hit the worst.

Nordonia Hills Schools have had seminars, a few that I have attended on the issue. Law officials, school officials, drug counselors all stress the need for educating, and providing  preventative measures. Safe beds and affordable treatment options unfortunately can only be found out of state on many instances. Paramedics have told me of stories where they have brought the same victim back 4 or 5 different  times, only to have to return to the home again on another overdose call. THIS IS NOT JUST A NORDONIA ISSUE!!

These drugs are killing people in record numbers. It overtakes the mind, body, soul and their lives. There is no perception of right or wrong. They would sell their children for the next fix. What’s the answer? I’ve asked many people, who have no answers. You get rid of one dealer, and three more pop up like weeds to take their place. One can only try to rid themselves of the habit that has overtaken them. I know of cases that have taken over 10 rehabilitation attempts, with some success. Parents and family members dread the calls at night thinking it might be the coroner with bad news about their loved one. Unfortunately, not a week goes by when the obituary lists a friend, or former classmate that has succumb to drugs. And the list keeps growing. Again, what’s the answer?