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Newspaper, TV, radio provide special coverage of opiate addiction and treatment

The high rise in available prescription opiates combined with the low cost of heroin is a deadly mix in southwest Ohio.

As the death toll from drug overdoses and cost to the community from opiates climbs, the Dayton Daily News, WHIO Radio and WHIO-TV have combined to present information about the problem and show efforts to solve what experts call an epidemic.

A half-hour WHIO-TV special report, “Prescription For Pain,” will air at 8 p.m. Monday. That will be immediately followed by WHIO’s 8:30 p.m. radio call-in show on on 95.7 FM and AM 1290.

During the radio show, local experts such as Wright State University Booneshoft School of Medicine’s Dr. Gary LeRoy, Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services director Helen Jones-Kelley, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer and Montgomery County commissioner Dan Foley will answer questions and discuss the issue.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s Dayton Daily News will feature stories about the opiate addiction reaching into the suburbs, law enforcement’s battle with the drug supply, the drug that is saving some drug users’ lives and treatment options for those living with addiction.

People from all over southwest Ohio share their stories of how they or their family members got hooked on opiates, how the problem grew to its current proportion and the plan of attack from medical professionals and social services.

“We were overwhelmed by the tragic stories that local families were willing to share with us. They clearly want to help others and bring awareness to the rise in accidental overdose deaths,” said Becky Grimes, producer of the WHIO-TV prime time special.

Plummer has announced plans for a diverse coalition of community leaders to attack the problem of illegal prescription drugs, opiates and heroin. The Montgomery County Coalition for Drug Free Communities has planned a town hall meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Mandalay Banquet Center.

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