The Valley's heroin epidemic - Part #2 Prevention - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

The Valley's heroin epidemic - Part #2 Prevention

Posted: Updated:
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Suspect in Trumbull County jail hostage crisis facing death penalty case

    Suspect in Trumbull County jail hostage crisis facing death penalty case

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:40:36 GMT
    One of the three inmates identified as being involved in a hostage situation at the Trumbull County jail faces criminal charges that could bring the death penalty if convicted.Authorities say that 29-year-old David Martin of Cleveland is awaiting trial for the murder of Jeremy Cole in Warren in October, 2012.Martin was a neighbor of Cole who was shot to death at a home on Oak Circle SW. A woman was also wounded during the crime.The Trumbull County Grand Jury handed up a ten count indictment a...More >>
    One of the three inmates identified as being involved in a hostage situation at the Trumbull County jail faces criminal charges that could bring the death penalty if convicted.Authorities say that 29-year-old David Martin of Cleveland is awaiting trial for the murder of Jeremy Cole in Warren in October, 2012.Martin was a neighbor of Cole who was shot to death at a home on Oak Circle SW. A woman was also wounded during the crime.The Trumbull County Grand Jury handed up a ten count indictment a...More >>
  • UPDATED

    Three inmates named in Trumbull County jail hostage situation

    Three inmates named in Trumbull County jail hostage situation

    Officials said three inmates tackled and handcuffed a corrections officer on the third floor of the jail.  The inmates are holding the officer hostage, and throughout Wednesday afternoon a peace officer has been negotiating with them to get a safe & peaceful ending.More >>
    Officials said three inmates tackled and handcuffed a corrections officer on the third floor of the jail.  The inmates are holding the officer hostage, and throughout Wednesday afternoon a peace officer has been negotiating with them to get a safe & peaceful ending.More >>
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol captain retires after 37 years of service

    Ohio State Highway Patrol captain retires after 37 years of service

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:09:23 GMT
    Ohio State Highway Patrol District Captain Jim Holt is retiring on Friday after serving the force for over 37 years.More >>
    Ohio State Highway Patrol District Captain Jim Holt is retiring on Friday after serving the force for over 37 years.More >>

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - It's an addiction so powerful, people are literally dying for a heroin high.

They're snorting it, shooting it and getting strung out on it. Addicts contend they're unable to function without the drug, because the withdrawals are so debilitating. It's called being "dope sick."

Recovering addict, Alexis Norman is 20-months sober and remembers that horrible feeling, "It was 10 times worse than the flu because it would not go away. I wasn't just sick, it wouldn't go away until I got my next drug."

For Norman, it was Mahoning County's Drug Court and T.A.S.C., also known as, Treatment Alternatives to Street Crimes, that gave her a second chance. After successfully completing the program, her record was cleared of a non-violent felony charge related to her heroin addiction.

"Judge Durkin is amazing. He's compassionate, he cares about the people that are in drug court. There's a lot of people down at T.A.S.C. that saved my life, the first time, and this time, and I'm so grateful," Norman said.

Even if you are not considered a candidate for Mahoning County's Drug Court, there is treatment for heroin and opiate addiction available in the Valley.

Unfortunately, it's the working middle-class with insurance that can't afford the cost of the treatment if their insurance won't cover it.

The number of in-patient beds for treatment in the entire tri-county area, are limited to just 16 beds for adult males, 16 for adult females, and 16 for boys up to the age of 22. There is no place designated for in-patient treatment of adolescent girls.

Danielle Procopio's brother, Dennis Howells, died of an overdose in June, now along with her mother, Anna Howells, they're working to make sure others suffering the pain of addiction get the help they need.

"A lot of times people have to wait two and three days to get them into a bed for detox, whether it's here locally or in the Cleveland area, and those 2 or 3 days can be tragic for some families," Procopio said.

There's also help in the way of using "medication assisted therapy," including methadone, a drug that controversial to some because of it's own addictive qualities. But Dr. Dan Brown of Meridian Services says methadone is an effective form of treatment, along with a 12-step program and other therapy.

"Here at Meridian, patients with a long-term history of heroin use often come in with severe withdrawal symptoms, if they're given methadone it's used to block the symptoms of withdrawal," Dr. Brown said.

Suboxone, like methadone, is also used to minimize withdrawal symptoms in heroin and prescription pain meds.

But Meridian warns those in need of help to question any Suboxone or Methadone clinic that will only accept cash, and not offer any other form of treatment with it.

When it comes to battling this deadly addiction, law enforcement is continually working to cut-off the heroin pipeline, and arrest the dealers and couriers of the deadly drug at every level.

Unfortunately however, there's always a dealer to pick-up where another left off.

So prosecutors are now taking steps to prosecute those responsible for heroin deaths, when they can identify them.

Marty Desmond is Mahoning County's Assistant Prosecutor working with the Drug Task Force, "By going after the drug dealers that provide the drugs that led to overdoses, we've had some success. I know Trumbull County is following our lead, and doing the same."

However, one thing is clear, the Valley can't arrest it's way out of this heroin epidemic. That's why education and prevention could ultimately be a lifeline.

Officer Bob Patton, a Youngstown Police Officer with 22 years of narcotics investigative experience works for Mahoning Valley's Drug Task Force, "Educate young kids not to be afraid, but to be aware of what can happen, what will happen."

On Thursday, 21 News will continue it's special report on the "Heroin Epidemic" by traveling to Cleveland for a "Heroin Summit" that will address overdose death prevention, treatment, and education. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Steven Dettlebach will be there, as well as Mike DeWine, Ohio's Attorney General and Toby Cosgrove, the CEO & President of the Cleveland Clinic.

  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Restaurant plans new statue of Joe Paterno

    Restaurant plans new statue of Joe Paterno

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:57:56 GMT
     (AP) - Fans of the late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno are planning to commission a new bronze statue of him, and place it across from the school. Organizers say the statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading. It's expected to cost about $300,000 and would hopefully be done in 2015 by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn't involved in the plan. But a restaurant owner in downtown State Col...More >>
     (AP) - Fans of the late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno are planning to commission a new bronze statue of him, and place it across from the school. Organizers say the statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading. It's expected to cost about $300,000 and would hopefully be done in 2015 by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn't involved in the plan. But a restaurant owner in downtown State Col...More >>
  • Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed

    Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:01:45 GMT
    A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room.More >>
    A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room.More >>
  • Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Surveillance cameras at San Jose International Airport successfully captured the teenager on the tarmac, climbing up the landing gear of a jet. But in the end, the cameras failed because no one noticed the security...More >>
    A 15-year-old stowaway who survived a flight over the Pacific in a jet's wheel well spent seven hours undetected in what is supposed to be a highly secure area of San Jose International Airport before the flight...More >>
  • Hot ClicksHot ClicksMore>>

  • Can an app save the planet?

    Can an app save the planet?

    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
  • 'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:47:39 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
  • Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:37:26 GMT
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms