Community Takes Action To Fight Heroin Epidemic


UPDATED: Monday April 7, 2014 11:37 AM

A central Ohio community is trying to fight back against what they call a heroin epidemic in their town.

Police in Washington Court House said at least five to six people have died from possible heroin overdoses in the past three weeks, and they have seen triple the number of overdoses.

"My son was in the fetal position on the floor," said Michelle Gray.

She lost her son Taylor to heroin on February 21.

"To me, this is the hardest thing a parent has to go through," she said.

Her son was only 24 years old

"I go to the cemetery because that's where I can talk to him at," she said.

In his memory, she started Taylor's Cause to help educate parents about the warning signs of heroin addiction.

"The weight loss, look at the pupils, you know. Are your spoons missing? Are they nodding out? (Are) they hyper, then nodding out? That's what you need to look for," she said.

Angel Ott is one of the lucky ones - she can hug her son.

"Once I found out he was using the heroin, it destroyed me inside as a mother because I knew my actions led him to what he done," Ott said.

Ott said she was using meth. She said she's clean now.

She feared he son would be among the others buried because of heroin.

"I just want people to know this drug is killing people, and if you think it won't get you, it will. Your next shot could be your last shot," Ott said.

Dylan says heroin is everywhere.

"Heroin is easier to get in this town than beer," he said.

He said he began using when he was 18.

Getting high was easy, but getting clean was not.

"You literally think you're going to die. That's why people keep using, because it's so hard to get off of," he said.

Without the help of his mother to get him clean, he's convinced he'd be dead.

"I thank God for her every day," he said.

More than 100 people came to the Washington High School gym to hear from police, religious leaders, emergency medical personnel and others about the epidemic of heroin and how the community
needs to come together to fight the problem.

Washington Court House's Police Chief said he has 18 officers to cover a city with 14,000 people. That leaves the city with two officers per shift. He says in the past 90 days the department has arrested 30 people for drug crimes. Most of them are heroin related.

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