Drugs are a big issue all around Ohio communities.
Police will tell you, when it comes to drug abuse, no community is immune.
In Marion, the big issue is heroin.
“Five years ago, we didn’t hear of heroin,” said Marion Police Lieutenant Chris Adkins.
Marion is generally a peaceful town, but in the last few years authorities say that heroin has moved into the community.
“It is about $10 for what they consider a bindle, which is a hit of heroin,” Adkins said.
Adkins said heroin is cheaper than prescription drugs. When people get hooked on prescription medicine and the prescription runs out, they turn to heroin.
He said heroin has led to an increase in thefts.
“You don’t have many people who go out and say ‘I went to the store and stole because I needed to feed myself or I needed to feed my kids,’” Adkins said. “A lot of it is, I need to feed my addiction to the drug.”
At a community meeting in April, a recovering addict and a mother worried for her daughter shared their experiences.
“I was instantly hooked,” recovering addict Will said. “I found the love of my life and it was in a drug.”
“When I hear sirens going, I’ll wake up,” said mother Carol Kinney. “Are they going to find my daughter dead? I don’t know.”
Adkins said state funding cuts to cities have meant police layoffs.
Some officers were reinstated last fall when a levy passed, but more officers are retiring than they can replace.
Adkins said there are not enough police to handle the influx of drugs or enough money to help addicts kick their habits.
“The community has stepped up to be aware, but it all comes down to funding,” Adkins said.
Adkins said many of the dealers come from Detroit and Chicago, and they don’t seem to be afraid of the judicial system because police keep seeing the same people.
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