"Not in my backyard" debunked: Overdose deaths in the Valley - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

"Not in my backyard" debunked: Overdose deaths in the Valley

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Media accounts from across the Valley, and the nation chronicle the attitudes of communities impacted by the heroin epidemic. 

Many recount tales of communities trying to hide the problem, or shunning those who are addicted. 

Locally, activists, support groups, psychologists, and drug treatment experts have repeatedly talked about how the stigma of addiction hurts the fight against the opioid epidemic. 

It's a stigma that affects the way addicts are viewed, as well as their families, the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, and even certain addiction treatment methods.

Last year PBS's journalistic enterprise, known as Frontline, published a series called "Chasing Heroin". 

An article within that series detailed the fact that the number of treatment centers, particularly medication-assisted centers has decreased in parts of New York mostly because of a stigma. 

The author repeats a notion that many others have brought forward- there is a notion of "not in my backyard" that refers to not wanting treatment centers in certain communities as well as believing that certain areas could never be impacted. 

The Valley faced a similar situation earlier this year when plans for a methadone assisted recovery clinic in East Liverpool were stalled by a dispute over eight feet.

Ohio law says a methadone clinic cannot be within 500 feet of a children's facility, and the distance between the proposed clinic and a daycare was just 492 feet. 

The daycare could have signed off on a waiver that would have let the facility carry on with its plan, but the owner declined, saying they felt needed to be kept away for the safety of the children. 

The "not in my backyard mentality" is two-fold. It means that community members don't want something near them, but it also indicates the belief that a problem doesn't exist in their community. 

RELATED COVERAGE: East Liverpool substance abuse clinic hits roadblock

But the heroin epidemic is in every community.

It has been declared a national emergency. It constitutes more than $1 billion dollars in spending for the state of Ohio. It brings extra staffing requirements and expenses to local communities looking into Quick Response Teams, drug-seeking body scanners, and more. 

Your Voice Mahoning Valley has compiled an interactive map of all overdose deaths from 2010 to 2016 across the Valley.

Trumbull County has been one of the hardest hit areas impacted by the epidemic. Not only is Trumbull County highest in the Valley for overdose deaths, it is also in the top 10 worst counties in the state. 

In 2016 Trumbull County set its new record for overdose deaths in a year. The county is already on track to potentially top that in 2017. 


There is no doubt, however, that certain communities across the Valley have been harder hit than others. In Trumbull County, 21 News has reported on instances where Niles, Warren, and Howland have all been the center of the most overdoses. 



The Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the Mahoning County Sheriff's office have recently started a new program to get those who overdose help. 

The new Quick Response Team is alerted by police departments around the county, whenever they respond to an overdose. 

QRT then contacts the overdose victim within 72 hours and provide them with treatment options and counseling availability. 


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