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Cincinnati Task Force says State Resources are Needed to Fight Opioid Abuse

photo of Tom Synan

The head of a Cincinnati-area drug task force is calling on the state to declare a public health emergency to free up more resources for fighting heroin.

After a recent spike of overdoses, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan, who heads the task force, is calling the situation a public health crisis.   

“When you have anywhere from 100 to 200 people overdosing in a week, there’s no other way to describe this but a crisis.  It’s one thing for us to stand up as public leaders and say this, but ultimately, what’s going to get action is the citizens.  The citizens saying enough is enough, it’s draining the resources of our first responders.  It’s hurting people.  It’s killing people.  It’s hurting our community.  We want the state legislators and the governor to declare this a public health emergency.” 

At a news conference today, the Hamilton County coroner confirmed the powerful elephant tranquilizer carfentanil was found in the bodies of eight recent overdose deaths, and more cases are suspected.  Authorities say nearly 300 overdoses have been reported in the Cincinnati area in the last three weeks.