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Attorney general sees reason for hope in battle against opiate abuse epidemic

By Jon Baker GateHouse Ohio Media Published: April 21, 2017 12:20 PM

 NEW PHILADELPHIA — Attorney General Mike DeWine said there are lot of reasons to be discouraged about the heroin and opiate epidemic that is raging in Ohio, but there are also lots of reasons for hope.

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"It's more likely to be in affluent suburbs, candidly, than in cities.

And it's in all our rural counties. It touches every demographic."

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"It was really more than that. This year, It's clearly going up.

The wave is still coming."

At the same time, drug companies came out with new pain medications they said weren't very addictive.

In the past, heroin was confined to the inner cities.

People in the suburbs and rural areas didn't use it.

"That barrier must be totally gone."

"They're really good at what they do. They control it all the way up until you get to a place like New Philadelphia."

Eventually, they might have a $1,000 a day habit.

"Most of the crime you're going to find in every county in the state of Ohio is caused one way or another by this drug problem," he said.

"We're finding more and more people throughout the state of Ohio at the village level, the county level, who are doing some amazing work that's saving lives every single day.

We need to hold them up as examples for other communities."

"We do something every single year in every school in the state of Ohio to reach every child.

Every expert who looks at this says, that's what you have to do.

It's no different than teaching writing, arithmetic, anything else.

You don't just wait until the fifth grade to do something."

With the program, Kentucky has seen children recovering faster.

The goal is to eventually expand it to more states.


"It's about problem-solving, and he's going to lead the way," Landis said of DeWine.

"You can't legislate your way out of this," he said.

"You can't incarcerate your way out of this. You can't educate your way out of this.

But we have to continue to be talking about it.

Tonight is an important night in Tuscarawas County."

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