It appears to be the day to look for Middletown stories in Dayton and Cincinnati. Cincinnati media is responding to a report of a spike in overdoses in Middletown yesterday. Here’s what we know.
There were 8 calls that went out over dispatch yesterday for a potential drug overdose. There were actually 5 confirmed overdoses out of the eight EMS runs.
To put this in another perspective, Middletown is a city of about 50,000 people. 1% of our population would be 500. 1/10th of 1% of our population would be 50 people. 5 overdoses equates to 1/100th of 1% of our population. I just don’t see a TV news story there that one one hundredth of one percent of people in Middletown had a drug overdose yesterday. I would guess we had that many auto accidents over the same time period.
Was this a spike? It’s hard to call a short number of days a spike or a dip. We’ve seen upticks and downticks occur over the last couple years on various occasions. As we’ve seen with the heroin problem, there are hills and valleys. I’d say the last couple weeks have been a hill.
The media already covered this story last week with the BC Coroner referencing the overdoses – it was on several different media outlets locally. The curious thing to me about the media response to that was that the overdose deaths last week took place in four different Butler County cities, but the tagline said “Middletown, Ohio.” Go figure.
We are one of many southwest Ohio cities experiencing an uptick in heroin overdoses this week. Being in the middle between Dayton and Cincinnati puts us in a bad geographical location due to the heroin trafficking going right through Middletown from the north and the south.
I don’t know of another city in Southwest Ohio that has done any more than we have to combat heroin addiction. We have a six man police task force out right now making heroin trafficking arrests trying to find out who is bringing this in. Drug arrests in 2016 were up 30% over 2015 by MPD. We now have 5 K-9’s assisting in drug enforcement efforts. We have convened 8 heroin summits working with Atrium Medical Center, non-profits, law enforcement, the courts, the treatment community and the religious community to respond to heroin addiction in the area. We have a quick response team consisting of a police officer, a paramedic and a social worker that follows up on suspected overdoses to work towards treatment for the addict.
It’s an ongoing problem throughout Ohio. We have our fair share, but no more or less than other areas. We sometimes may talk about it more because we are active in working with all of our local partners to reduce trafficking and get addicts into treatment.