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5 Year Old Saves Parents from Heroin Overdose Death

5 Year Old Saves Parents from Heroin Overdose Death

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

In late 2016 we talked about a story that had flooded every social media outlet with angry comments and distraught families of addicts. An image had surfaced from East Liverpool, Ohio that showed a horrifying depiction of two parents overdosed in the front seat of a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road, with a child sitting strapped into a car seat in the back. People berated the parents, while demanding the child be taken from them. Others argued that the photo was insensitive to the suffering and helplessness of addiction. The event was used by news outlets everywhere as a focal point for the bigger conversation about the devastation of the opioid epidemic in America.

So while in this case there is no photo to be shared and ranted about, the story of one quick-thinking 5-year-old boy is still a startling dose of reality.

Kids in the Crossfire

This time the child in the story ending up being the only reason his parents are still alive. According to the reports in relation to the story, the young boy rescued his mom and dad who had overdosed on heroin. Around 5 a.m. on Thursday morning the child knocked on the door to his step-grandfather’s house in Middletown, Ohio. He had walked two blocks, barefoot. Initial reports state the little boy told the relative that his parents were dead.

The young child’s step-grandfather Kenneth Currey told reporters,

“When I walked up the steps and seen him laying in the bathroom floor and her in the hallway, I immediately called 911 because I knew what was up,”

While the step-grandfather was describing the incident to the 911 dispatchers, he tried to comfort the young boy. But it was not just the one child either. There was also the boy’s 3-month-old infant sister, who was still strapped into her car seat in the car outside. Likely, the little boy saved his little sister from a great deal of risk as well.

The Aftermath

The station reported that when cops arrived, they found the parents lying unconscious on the floor. The young man, Lee Johnson, was given Narcan. Soon after the overdose antidote was administered, Johnson admitted to using heroin, according to the report. He was placed in cuffs and put into the back of a police cruiser.

The station stated that the mother, Chelsie Marshall, had to be rushed to a nearby hospital to be revived. She did not come back as easily. It took a total of 14 Narcan doses to revive Marshall.

Both parents are facing charges, including:

  • 2 counts of endangering children (each)
  • 1 count of disorderly conduct with heroin (each)

The children were brought to the Middletown Police Department. There the heroic young boy who saved not only his parents, but his little sister and himself, received a badge for his bravery. The two children have since been taken to live with other family members.

The step-grandfather Kenneth Currey said,

“I’m very proud of the boy, very proud of him, but it’s just, tragedy,”

The Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw knows very well that this situation could have indeed brought a much different result, and issued a wake-up call to the community.

“Parents, wake up,”

“People that are doing this, you’re not just hurting you, you’re hurting your families and your kids. I mean, this could’ve turned out really bad for two children that don’t deserve it.”

He isn’t wrong.

At the same time, we should also use instances like this as an opportunity to show how important it is that people get the treatment they need, and that families support one another in getting that help before it is too late. We should give those still using the hard truth, but at the same time we should show support and compassion, while encouraging family members to protect each other and try to help those who struggle.

Addiction is killing our families every day. We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

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What the step-grandfather said is absolutely true, this is indeed a tragedy. Parents of all ages die every day from drug overdose. Every day children are suffering along with their mothers and fathers in the grips of addiction, and every day some little kids lose their parents due to addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

New York City Considering Safe Heroin Injection Sites

New York City Considering Safe Heroin Injection Sites

Author: Justin Mckibben

Back in February of this year the mayor of Ithaca, New York began pursuing a plan that would establish safe heroin injection sites in Ithaca in an attempt to battle the opiate epidemic raging across the country. This controversial harm reduction tactic is getting brought up a lot more lately. Other states are also looking into starting up similar contingencies for their citizens. Now, the Big Apple is set to spend quite a bit of money and resources investigating the merits of safe heroin injection sites. That’s right, New York City is now taking a closer look at how safe heroin injection sites operate, wondering if it might be a decent plan after all.

Talking about the tab…

One of the big things people seem to be focused on right now is the money. Some believe providing addicts with a clean, medically supervised facility to use is a waste. They believe that what it will be doing is promoting heroin addiction while enabling it, all at the city’s expense.

So far, the tab is already pretty steep. The City Council has announced it will be allocating $100,000 to study the practice. This money will go to the Health Department for a nine-month study to determine whether it makes sense to open safe heroin injection facilities.

Shouldn’t be much of a surprise that these desperate times have called for such desperate measures in New York City. The study comes as the Big Apple is still reeling from a record 937 fatal drug overdoses in 2015, a 66% increase since 2010. With 2016 coming closer to the end, it is a wonder if this will be another record year for the five boroughs. Overdose death rates are a huge factor in a lot of new movements for change.

What are safe heroin injection sites?

Safe heroin injection sites are facilities where intravenous drug users are permitted to use the drug intravenously under medical supervision. The sites offer a place where addicts can use without fear of arrest, in case of an overdose. The idea is to have staff trained and available to be able to save lives. At the same time, the hope is to reduce other risks associated with intravenous drug use.

Several safe heroin injection sites already exist in dozens of cities outside the United States. Should America be next? Some of the countries who use this practice include:

  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Australia

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito commented saying,

“It’s been done and been implemented in other areas [of the world], so we just want to look up what the viability would be in New York,”

This seems like a pretty fair response to the epidemic; trying to explore and educate officials on more options that could help. And beyond reducing overdose deaths, HIV and viral hepatitis transmission, safe heroin injection sites work to connect addicts with drug-treatment options. So it isn’t just about giving them a safe place to get high, but also making them feel safe and supported whenever they try to get help.

Conservatives in opposition

But of course there is a great deal of opposition. Michael Long, the state Conservative Party Chairman, claims the $100,000 could-

“- be put to better use than sending a message that it is OK to use intravenous drugs as long as you use a government-sanctioned place.”

However, the reality is that the money is being utilized in a way that serves it’s initial purpose. $5.6 million is already set aside in the city budget to combat AIDS. The $100,000 for the safe heroin injection site study is coming from that bulk of finances.

So while surely some would not be all for spending the tax-payers dollar on researching “legal drug dens” the truth is the money is going somewhere that could make a huge difference to the effect of what tax-payers originally intended it for.

The safe heroin injection study

According to a council memo, as far as the actual study itself, the researchers will review data that pertains to:

  • Health conditions and disease transmission related to heroin and other injected drugs
  • Evaluate existing supervised injection facilities
  • Assess legal issues
  • Input from select “city officials and community experts”

This isn’t the first radical idea on this side of the country. Seattle is also considering safe heroin injection sites. Earlier this year, Boston opened a facility where addicts can use under safe medical observation. However these people have to inject drugs elsewhere. This doesn’t seem like as good of a plan, because it’s basically asking for addicts to use and drive. Still, it is some kind of innovation in a different direction.

Preventing of death and the spread of disease is vital. As the death rate escalates in relation to heroin addiction and infections caused by intravenous drug use, prevention is increasingly important. These programs may be controversial, but the cost of losing lives is a lot higher than spending some money looking into alternatives.

Beyond harm reduction, there is real recovery. Real recovery begins with effective and innovative treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now. You are not alone.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

One City Sees 174 Overdoses in 6 Days

One City Sees 174 Overdoses in 6 Days

(This content is for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

The number of overdose deaths in our country are already at a staggering rate, increasingly troubling by the minute. Some areas are hit much harder, but overall the tragic toll of the opioid addiction epidemic in America is obvious. Time after time we witness overwhelming reports of devastating deaths and high frequencies of serious complications from drug use.

Ohio is among the top states in the country to experience elevated rates of overdose per population, and Cincinnati has seen a viscous proportion of these. In a single weekend 30 heroin overdoses across Cincinnati were reported.

During just a 48-hour time frame from Tuesday to Wednesday there were 78 more overdoses and at least three deaths.

Finally, after a six-day period of emergency-room visits, the number of overdoses had reached to a number health officials are calling “unprecedented”: 174!

Cincinnati VS Carfentanil

According to one local news source, Cincinnati has four overdose reports per day on average, and usually no more than 20 or 25 in a given week.

The bigger problem; pure heroin is what’s responsible for that average, but that’s not what’s on the streets now.

The sinister element suspected to be responsible in this latest upsurge of overdoses is heroin cut with the latest opioid hitting the streets- Carfentanil. For those of you who don’t know yet, this is an elephant tranquilizer. Carfentanil supposedly has 10,000 times the potency as morphine!

At this point law enforcement officials are unable to identify the source of the toxic cocktail. Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan states that State, local and federal authorities have mobilized across Hamilton County to investigate where this incredibly powerful poison is coming from. So far they believe this record number of overdoses could be caused by a single heroin batch laced with Carfentanil.

Carfentanil, relatively similar to the opioid Fentanyl that has caused enough damage it its own right, is the strongest commercially used opioid. So just like with Fentanyl, drug dealers cut their heroin with Carfentanil to make it last longer and to deliver stronger, more addictive highs.

Tri-State Area Turmoil

New reports state that additional heroin overdoses in the tri-state area, plus New Jersey, tally up to more than 225 for this timeframe.

  • In the same time period of the Cincinnati overdoses:
  • Jennings County, Indiana reported 13 overdoses last Tuesday
  • Montgomery County, Kentucky reported 12 overdoses on Wednesday
  • Camden, New Jersey reported 29 overdoses between Tuesday and Thursday

All this news comes in after 27 people overdosed during a five-hour period in one West Virginia town in mid-August.

Still, these shocking and frightening rates springing up in Cincinnati have captured the most national attention.

Officials on a Mission

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan also heads the law enforcement task force for the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition. This effort is a collaboration of public health and law enforcement officials from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky working as a collective to combat the heroin epidemic afflicting the tri-state area. Many of these officials are very clear about their concerns, and about their mission. Hamilton County Commissioner Dennis Deters says this is a public health emergency like they have never seen before. Tim Ingram, the county’s health commissioner, said:

“This is unprecedented to see as many alerts as we’ve seen in the last six days,”

Officials are now pleading with the public. They have come out in the news to ask people to avoid the drug. The fact that the source of this potent batch is unknown and still out there makes them disparate to end this uptick in overdoses. Synan states,

“We’re urging you, please don’t do heroin right now. If for no other reason, because we don’t know what’s in the stuff on the street.”

He went on to point out the blatant disregard of dealers, saying:

“These people are intentionally putting in drugs they know can kill someone. The benefit for them is if the user survives, it is such a powerful high for them, they tend to come back. … If one or two people die, they could care less. They know the supply is so big right now that if you lose some customers, in their eyes, there’s always more in line.”

Harder to Fight

Further complicating matters is that Narcan– the drug that reverses the side effects of an overdose- is not working anymore, or at least not as reliably in cases such as these. When it comes to heroin overdoses, one or two doses of Narcan will stabilize a patient. So Narcan, and the generic Naloxone, expansion programs have taken great bounds forward in providing a line of defense.

However, these recent overdoses required two or three times that dosage. These more potent mixes have proven not only to be more deadly, but far more resilient to any medication-based efforts to save lives. Cincinnati is definitely not the only state in the nation dealing with this issue. The problem is growing, and with it so it the death-toll.

Now even more efforts must absolutely be put into raising awareness and providing education to the public. With such powerful new elements being introduced into the fight, the world should know what it’s up against. Real solutions should be made available, and real recovery begins with effective treatment.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Faith-Based Hope Over Heroin Brings Ohio Together

Faith-Based Hope Over Heroin Brings Ohio Together

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

It has been heavy on my heart when hearing about the outbreak of overdose deaths in Buckeye country, and it has broken my heart to see people I have known all my life struggling with substance abuse and addiction as I have. But along with hearing about the stories that trouble me, I’m happy to report on something that brings hope.

This past weekend several hundred Ohioans gathered together at Dodge Park in Franklinton in solidarity for fighting back against this epidemic. This was a two-day Hope Over Heroin event to offer free heroin-addiction support to the public, along with food and live music.

Hope Over Heroin

Hope Over Heroin (HOH) is a faith-based effort made up from different communities. According to their website Hope Over Heroin launched back in the summer of 2014 after a streak of devastation. The site front page states:

“Hope Over Heroin is a collaborative ministry led by Pastors in Ohio and Kentucky who came together to connect the Body of Christ in order to Break the chains of the Addicted!”

In the year 2014:

  • 2,531 Ohio residents died from unintentional drug overdoses, a 20 percent increase from the year before, according to an Ohio Department of Health report
  • Heroin accounted for about 47 percent of those deaths.
  • In one week there were more than 14 deaths from heroin overdoses in Hamilton County

All of which ultimately contributed to this combined effort to fight back. Since then, the Cincinnati-based movement has gone mobile. Now Hope Over Heroin brings its mission to cities all over Ohio, and now parts of Kentucky and Indiana. Still on this year’s schedule for events is:

  • August 26-27 in Norwood, Ohio
  • September 9-10 in Brookville, Indiana
  • September 17 in Kenton, Ohio

These events include a collective prayer march for raising awareness and even water baptisms for those inclined.

Hope and Higher Power

The Reverend Jeff Leslie, of Judah Tabernacle on the South Side, joined other pastors and volunteers onstage Friday to talk about hope to the people who came to the event. During his time on stage he stated,

“We want the community to come to the awareness of the epidemic of heroin that is here, and offer the opportunity to get freedom from that and not have to stay in that condition.”

Reverend Leslie believes faith in a higher power offers a great companion on the road to recovery. Of course, many 12 Step fellowships can concur with this idea, as the presence of the phrase “higher power” is part of the language of these rooms. While 12 Step fellowships are typically completely separate from any specific faith, they give respect to the efforts of religious organizations for their help in the healing process of countless addicts who are recovering.

Faith and Non-Faith for Hope

Another important thing about Hope Over Heroin is no one is denied resources based on spirituality or religious status. There were approximately 30 churches participating in the Dodge Park event. These groups work without bias to connect on-hand representatives from 35 different treatment services to those in need.

Even non-religious volunteers and participants are seen gathered together for group prayer and blessings. These events may be organized by faith-based groups, but they accept those from all walks of life with compassion. The churches still minister to the public, but the resources they make available are across the board. After all, it doesn’t make sense to go out waving the banner or spiritual power if you are unwilling to show love and empathy for all.

Programs like this should restore some faith in humanity for even those who are strongly opposed to faith fellowships. The fact that community leaders are organizing to help right back is amazing and inspiring. Holistic healing is based in the idea of integrating mind, body and spirit into the recovery process regardless of religious affiliation. Putting saving lives first it critical to making a difference in changing lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

New Drug Carfentanil More Dangerous Than Heroin and Fentanyl

New Drug Carfentanil More Dangerous Than Heroin and Fentanyl

Author: Justin Mckibben

In case you have never read one of my stories on Ohio, I am a born and raised Buckeye. While living away from home for a few years I have taken every opportunity to read about progress in my birth state and spread the word. I have also had to write some disheartening stories that make me afraid for the people I grew up with and the neighborhoods I knew my whole life. However, when a new drug hits Ohio and causes shattering damage I have to step up and say something.

Right now the entire country is fighting a hard fight against opiate and heroin addiction. Overdose deaths tear families and communities apart. Law makers and law enforcement reel trying to keep up. Meanwhile every day a new drug seems to crop up and reap more havoc in cities on all sides of the nation. This time we see a surge of overdoses in the Tri-state area that are truly terrifying, especially considering a new even more powerful substance is suspected.

New Drug Named Carfentanil

This new drug is suggested to be incredibly more potent than any other forms of opiate substances on the street. Carfentanil is said to be:

  • 10,000 times stronger than morphine
  • 100 times stronger than Fentanyl
  • Used as an animal tranquilizer

Officials are saying this is the MOST potent opiate out there. In that case, this is beyond horrifying! Data has already concluded that Fentanyl alone is 40-100 times stronger than heroin. Now they are suggesting that Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl?! It is almost difficult to even comprehend a new drug could possibly be 10,000 times more powerful than pure heroin!

And that last note- this new drug is a sedative used on large animals. Not just any animals, we’re talking bears and elephants!

New Drugs Deadly Dose

Deaths across Hamilton County are rising at an alarming rate and many suspect Carfentanil as the common factor. This drug is actually being used in combination with heroin and amplifying the impact. So far cases have already been reported in:

  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus

In just 9 hours in Columbus authorities counted at least 10 overdoses possibly connected to Carfentanil. 2 were fatal.

  • Akron

During just 3 days in Akron authorities suspect Carfentanil could be linked to 25 overdoses. 4 were fatal.

Health officials and county leaders spoke out at the Hamilton County Health Department urgently issuing a public health warning created by this new drug mixture. Officials state that in just a few days there was a massive increase in drug-related emergency room visits.

Greater Risks

In case you weren’t already freaked out- it is not just injecting this drug or ingesting it intentionally that puts people are a critical risk. The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is also urging area police not to conduct field tests on heroin because Carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin or even inhaled.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Hamilton County Coroner, warns-

“Narcan may not save you from this one,”

Narcan (or generic Naloxone) is the opiate overdose antidote. To say even this valuable resource may not actually be able to save you from an overdose with Carfentanil is a frightening concept. Tim Ingram, Hamiton County Health Commissioner, said with a troubling hint of realism-

“This is clearly going to… kill a lot of people.”

People often say the truth hurts. This is one truth that is devastating to consider. Knowing that there are so many struggling addicts in these areas is terrifying and tragic, because one can only imagine how many will unknowingly fall victim to this vicious new element in the already treacherous world of drug addiction.

The next question is- where else is this stuff being slipped into street drugs and poisoning people?

This does not have to be the end. Drugs are only getting more dangerous, but effective treatment is also becoming more holistic. For the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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