© 2020 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

Northeast Ohio Heroin Task Force Recieves National Recognition

photo of heroin and syringe

The U.S. Attorney General is recognizing an effort by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Cleveland for its efforts to fight the heroin epidemic. The honor is for its community partnership for public safety. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force includes representatives from local law enforcement, judges, doctors, recovering addicts and addiction specialists. Among them is the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, Mike Tobin. He says the team was assembled in 2013 after realizing conventional methods alone were not enough to slow the growing epidemic.

“We knew we couldn’t simply prosecute people, we knew we couldn’t just get treatment, we knew we couldn’t simply reduce the amount of pills being prescribed. The only way we hoped to stand a chance in stemming this tide is by working together and attacking the problem from all sides. And since then the Justice Department has tried to replicate that model in U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country.”

Despite the efforts, opioid deaths in Cuyahoga County alone are expected to top 500 this year, more than double last year’s total.