Sheriff see recent spike in overdoses


By Melanie Yingst - Civitas Media



MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the recent rise in heroin overdoses to see what is causing the spike in use or if dealers are cutting the drugs with lethal agents.

A heroin overdose was reported in the 300 block of School Street, in the village of Bradford around 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30. The male subject was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center for treatment.

Two hours later on the other side of the county, a 28-year-old male was pronounced dead from an apparent heroin overdose at his parent’s home in the 4000 block of Casstown-Sidney Road.

According to Acting Sheriff Dave Duchak, the male subject had been in treatment in Dayton and met weekly with a doctor. His parents found him in his bedroom and reported his overdose.

Deputies found evidence of drug use with empty syringes, a spoon with a tan substance soaked into the end of a cotton swab and a plastic baggie containing a small amount of suspected heroin.

Duchak said the capsules recovered from the Casstown-Sidney Road incident will be sent to the Montgomery County Regional Crime Lab for analysis.

Troy Police Department Capt. Joe Long said the city of Troy reported seven heroin overdoses over the weekend — including one woman who overdosed at least two times in two days.

On Nov. 26, Troy Police were dispatched to the 1200 block of South Ridge Avenue. The report stated subjects were performing CPR on a body, then loaded the body into a truck and left. The truck was located at Upper Valley Medical Center.

The victim, Megan Jess, 30, of Troy, apparently overdosed at her residence. She had been admitted to the emergency room the night prior for an overdose. The hospital staff was able to resuscitate Jess with Narcan, a drug commonly used to counter the effects of opiates. Jess was given a warning for drug abuse.

An apparent overdose also was reported on Nov. 27 in the 600 block of South Walnut Street, Troy. Results are pending test results from evidence gathered at the scene.

OHIO’S IMMUNITY LAW

Last September, Gov. John Kasich signed the “heroin immunity law.”

The new law offers immunity to people trying to get help for someone overdosing, or overdose victims themselves.

It covers people calling 911, contacting a police officer, or taking an overdose victim to a medical facility.

According to the law, the exemption can be utilized twice with warnings. The subject may be cited on the third occasion.

The immunity law does not apply to anyone on parole, and the victim must receive medical attention, and a referral for drug treatment within 30 days.

Both Sheriff Duchak and Capt. Long said they are working with county prosecutors on how to properly document and track the overdose warnings with the new immunity law. This week, both officials said the language of the immunity law has been hard to interpret from the law enforcement point of view and are working with other area agencies to navigate how to properly cite persons for drug abuse.

By Melanie Yingst

Civitas Media