UPDATE: Ohio AG Encourages Community Effort to Battle Drug Problem

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UPDATE 3/13/2014 5:20 PM

Heroin, crack cocaine and meth.

You hear about it all the time - just how popular the Valley is for drug dealers from Columbus.

Thursday a special forum was held targeting drug addiction here at home hosted by Washington State Community College.

Officials say if you don't think it's here in the community you are lying to yourself.

Throughout the State of Ohio, we have a drug epidemic.

Members of the community dealing with this drug issue from different angles were on the panel.

One of those being a recovered addict.

Wanting to remain anonymous, he told the public we will fail as a community if we don't offer real life solutions to people with these addiction problems.

So they addressed that.

How are we battling this drug and overdose issue right here in Washington County?

"But in the end we are not going to turn this thing around unless we get people in every community, that are going to rise up and get mad and say, 'hey, we are not putting up with this anymore, we are going to have citizens groups, we are going to do a better job educating our young people, and we are going to focus on this problem' because it's a community problem and it's everywhere," says Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

This is the eighth town hall meeting across the state put together by DeWine.

He says with 900 deaths from heroin alone in Ohio last year and an equal amount of deaths due to prescription drugs, we can't arrest our way out of this problem.

It all comes down to what the community has to offer its people and how we work together.

Drug abuse and overdoses.

A drug epidemic on both sides of the river.

In an effort to try to fix that problem, a roundtable talk is being held with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says Ohio averages five deaths a day from overdoses.

Attorney General Mike DeWine, experts and community leaders dealing with the drug problem in Washington County will share their stories - that also includes a success story.

"Actually convicted of opiate trafficking, I think a lot of people should be interested in hearing what he has to say, because he fought the battle and he won and he is now a successful businessman," says Sheriff Mincks.

The round table will take place at Washington State Community College from Thursday, March 13 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to ask questions.

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