New data shows a steady rise in heroin deaths in Ohio.
And it's a huge problem right here in our area.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office announced a new statewide heroin unit to fight it.
Law enforcement here at home are worried.
They say it is a huge and very serious problem that doesn't seem to be calming down.
The Marietta Police, Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Major Crimes Task Force are out at all times working to stop these overwhelming figures.
At the attorney general's press conference Monday morning in Columbus he said 11 people die in Ohio every week from a heroin overdose.
DeWine says the numbers have increased greatly over the past four years.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks agrees.
He says being highly and almost instantly addictive, the drug is in high demand here and the numbers are not slowing down.
"We are having an upswing with the amount of heroin that is coming into our area," he says. "We are having more and more cases of overdoses and I think our overdose fatalities are up a little."
Sheriff Mincks says the squads do carry what's called Narcan Drip Aerosol Smelling Salts which neutralizes the opiot or IV.
This can prevent someone from dying of an overdose if they get there fast enough.
Attorney General DeWine's new heroin unit will include investigators, lawyers and drug abuse awareness specialists.
He says they will assist in combating issues connected to the heroin epidemic, such as crime, addiction and overdose deaths.
Sheriff Mincks was very happy to hear this news and says this is a great thing.
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