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Heroin Awareness Campaign Announced

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(Courtesy: Let's Face It Campaign)

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and other officials  announced a heroin awareness campaign at a news conference Thursday.

The campaign will include television spots scheduled to debut the week of Feb. 17 through at least April.

The heroin epidemic in Ohio now kills one person in the state every five hours and kills more people each year than car accidents do.

The campaign is called “Let’s Face It” and it highlights the faces of heroin.  Most people in the spots have been affected by heroin.

A website is also a part of the campaign.  It includes infographics, videos and resources for help.

CLICK HERE to be redirected to the site.  Scroll down to the live blog for other updates from the news conference.

The I-Team first reported on the heroin trend three years ago, tracing the epidemic to its southern Ohio roots and showing how it started primarily with legal prescriptions to opiates — heroin’s legal cousins with names such as Oxycodone and Oxycontin.

All this week on FOX 8 News at 6, I-Team Reporter Bill Sheil examines the growth of the epidemic and what can be done to stem the deadly tide.

Click here for the stories featured in our ‘Heroin Hits Home’ series.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:19 am

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty steps up to the mic, says his office is taking its role a step further …

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:21 am

McGinty says people who supply heroin in fatal cases “are going to prison.”

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:21 am

It’s not an inner city problem, it’s everybody’s problem, McGinty says of the heroin epidemic.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:22 am

McGinty: Heroin use by the white population is spiking.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:23 am

Officials are looking at both low level and high level suppliers. “We want everybody to go to prison if you’re supplying death,” McGinty says.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:25 am

“What would you do if you had a tiger on the loose?  You’d do something,” McGinty says, calling for action against the heroin epidemic.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:26 am

A public service campaign will include TV spots beginning next week that will run into April.  “If we get more money out of the criminals, they’ll run longer,” McGinty says.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:28 am

McGinty says the ads may be shared by anyone or customized in local communities.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:28 am

The spots are about to air at the news conference.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:31 am

Joe Frolik with the Cuayhoga County Prosecutor’s Office serves as project manager of the awareness campaign.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:31 am

Campaign is called Let’s Face It, designed to put a face on the epidemic.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:31 am

Website: http://letsfaceheroin.com/

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:33 am

TV spot is shown.  It begins with montage of people saying, “Let’s face it.  Heroin is killing us.  Moms, dads, daughters and sons.  Addiction can start at any time.”

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:34 am

Spot ends.  Representatives from Hindsight Productions, who made the spots, say many of the people featured on the spot have been affected by heroin.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:35 am

Second spot airs.  A teen talks about her brother’s addiction and the weight that was lifted off of him once his parents knew about the problem.  Spot ends with, “Addiction you cannot fight alone,” and “Let’s face it.  Teens need to know more.”

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:36 am

Frolik says a “motion graphic” is available for people to share on websites.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:40 am

Production company representative says, “Each spot ends with a call to action.  Educate yourself so you can stop the stem in your homes and schools.  Knowledge is the key.”

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:43 am

One of the Let’s Face It spots features Robby.  Fox 8 News brought you that story in our ‘Heroin Hits Home’ series.  Watch more on Robby’s Story here:  http://fox8.com/2014/02/10/heroin-hits-home-robbys-story/

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:44 am

Doctor in TV spot says an addicted person should not feel guilty, but should feel responsible.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:44 am

Doctor in TV spot says if people survive, most get sober.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:47 am

Next TV spot features Cindy, whose 26-year-old daughter is addicted to heroin.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:55 am

Officials talk about how denial is flowing through the community.  People are turning away.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201411:55 am

US Attorney Steve Dettelbach says the campaign is designed to wake people up to the death of hundreds of people around us.

Jessica Dabrowski February 13, 201412:03 pm

Prosecutor Tim McGinty thanks everyone and news conference ends.

17 comments

  • Brenda Sedgwick

    What a bunch of BS! All of this hype is just making it hard for the people that truly are in acute, chronic pain and need the opiates to stay mobile and feel like life is worth living and to be able to not cry out in agony difficult to get meds. So if doctors aren’t willing to help the people in true, documented pain, they are going to turn to alternative, cheaper means. It’s a vicious cycle.

  • Ann

    Since so many people are addicted to Heroin, we are all aware of the situation, but help is very hard to find unless there is an endless supply of money. The “rehab houses” that these people have to go to are in terrible conditions. A person who is addicted to heroin really has no extra money, their money goes to get more heroin. If this is becoming such a big epidemic, why isn’t there more places to get help? Run into a problem, ask the police to help, they can’t do a thing. Oh, they can run a person’s record and know the person is an addict, but there is nothing they can do. Everyone is now claiming that this is such a big problem, but what is being done to stop it?

    • Jchap

      Yes, I completely agree with you. I have no money (except to spend on H so I don’t get sick) I have no job, no insurance, and have been trying to detox myself at home for over a year, with no success. There aren’t enough detoxes out there to help addicts like me, and most that I know are in the same position. I think a BIG problem is not enough treatment. Most addicts I know really want to get clean but have no means, and that’s when you begin losing all hope and “overdosing”. (I know some of them are intentional, because I’ve thought about doing it so many times)
      MAKE MORE HELP AVAILABLE !!!! That’s a big way to reduce the addiction rates. I NEED HELP !!!!

      • jim

        Hang in there. I was out there for 14 years. Tried to get clean for 11 of em. No help in lorain county. They send you to lcaada to wait for a bed at a dumpy rehab in the hood of cleveland. Cannabis finally saved my life! If cops would take a more proactive course of action we could atleast put a dent in it. Stop sending addicts to jail!! They cud easily bust 20 dealers a day just at the friggin gas stations by my house if they paid attention and posted up. They don’t care! Krokodil making its way to our hoods too.

  • Deborah

    Sure it’s a very serious issue Ann but it’s not a easy as one would think. How these drug addict’s get the money is either theft or hooking, either way the addition is so deep they die and the help is no longer available. May not be in this immediate area but if gone out of state or the county, how are they going to get there?? The police are not social workers and I don’t think they have the knowledge as to know what can be done. Arrest them??Sure —then what? Dry out or detox the body? The cops are able to do so much. As far doing anything about it? No very much I am afraid.

  • anon

    Okay people this article is truth. I can’t tell you how many family members and addicts alike are in denial and then it turns from narcotics to opiates to heroin. sorry, but something needs to be done. I don’t want the excuses well oh it started from real pain they couldn’t help it. I’m I’m pain daily, and I rarely turn to any medicine I manage without it. yes, this is making it harder for real needs but wouldn’t saving lives and families be worth this article??

  • Actual victim

    What about the crimes committed by heroin addicts? Home burglary and assaults are happening every day; addicts are stealing from innocent hard working people to buy their drugs! Please do not forget “Eleanor Robertson, 77, murdered, her body discovered hidden inside her bedroom. Police say Robertson’s home was burglarized and ransacked. A mother and son, who used to live on the same street, charged with murder and aggravated burglary. Investigators say the suspects stole Eleanor’s jewelry, in an attempt to feed their drug habit.”

    A “herion” addict broke into my home and stole items belonging to my deceased parents; items that had great sentimental value are gone forever, taken to “Cash for Gold” business to buy drugs to feed a derelict lowlife’s habit!

    I’m tired of reading stories depicting the addict as the victim, at some point in their life the addict made a conscious decision to do drugs, steal from family and innocent people and they should be held accountable for their crimes!

    • Deborah

      My sister was addicted to cocaine and stole not only from my mom but from me and the bank NEVER re embursed me for over for over $3,000.00. She went to prison and has been dry for the past several years till she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s . So she has that battle to deal with. When people steal it is the addiction that goes along with it. Feel bad for them? Not really. They are there own worst enemy. And Anon families seem to turn a blind eye if you will call it that. Most people disown them. And the streets and the dealer is they’re family.

  • Mother of a recovering addict

    EVERYONE is the victim here. Take out the pawn shops, Cashland, Cash for Gold, etc. That would help.

  • Jane

    It’s all about making choices. An addict wouldn’t be an addict if they chose not to try a drug to begin with. enuff said.

  • sick of it all!!!!!

    I have to agree with ACTUAL VICTIM!!!! I have disowned half of my family to no part but their OWN!!!! My husband son and I have been victims to this heroin epidemic for way too long. We have had parts stolen from our car, house broke into and various items of value stolen…lucky for us we had video survailance and caught it all on video. Sad part is it was our own FAMILY who did this to us. Why??? all to support their drug habit. They go and sell their food stamps to the drug dealer and then go to local food banks to give them food for the month! They are taking away from people who actually need the food banks to make ends met not to feed an addiction. They have ripped off churches saying they are getting evicted or that they need a utility bill to b paid only to use that $$$ to what???….pay fore their addiction! I know for a fact that this isn’t just a unique situation just to my family but it happens more often than we think! I have personally taken my mother in law to a local “clinic” to get her daily dose of methadone only to see her not go in the building but into a CADILLAC parked in the back to get her heroin fix! the clinics are mainly operational because of government moneies…and of course yours and my tax $$$. how can someone still get medication not to do heroin test positive for heroin numerous times and still be in “A PROGRAM”? what a joke! 2 years ago my husband and I put our foot down and decided we are no longer going to be victims… they chose to do the dope and we chose life over addicts!!!!

  • sick of it all!!!!!

    Oh really its the pawn shops fault that a junkie stole from someone and is claiming the “item” being pawned as there own???? Grow up!!!! its the addicts fault and us sober people who chose LIFE over drugs is the victims! NOT THE JUNKIES????? IDIOT!!!!!!

  • jessica

    Has anyone really researched addiction and the people who suffer from it?! I have a brother who is a heroin addict and has hurt everyone in my family as well as cleaned out our mothers bank account to feed his habit. If more people took the time to support addicts then they would get a better understanding of the illness. They are not all “junkies” it’s a disease. And the people she get stolen from, are probably the ones who enable the illness.I will support my brother in his sobriety, bit won’t feed the addiction. He is not welcome in my home because he stole from my sons, I still love him and forgive him. Those who express their opinions should really educate themselves on the disease and not how society portrays it.

    • kim

      I completely understand where your coming from I have a son whose an addict but he wont admit to it don’t know what to do

      • jessica

        My brother denied it for years and then finally came clean to us a few months ago, he was kind of forced to because he cleaned out my moms bank acct. He’s been to detox/ rehab 9 times and used after he got out. Stayed sober for 6 months at most, he’s in jail now because our mom pressed charges but, he struggles every day and will more than likely use when he gets out. Our stepsister passed away last October. I fear he’s next. Good luck to you and your son.

  • Candice

    I see a ton of people who are victims of addicts, and i know first hand that the families suffer most. I hear a lot of blame, like its the addicts fault that they’re addicts. I can never make anyone understand what its like to be an addict, but I’ll tell you its not choice. Once you take the heroin, IT TAKES YOU. I cant explain it. Its time to drop the stigma and look at the problem.its a disease. Like any other mental disorder. And something needs to be done. Im proactive in prevention and active in recovery. I work in tge trenches. I was the child of an addict. I see it everywhere and its not easy. For anyone.

  • kim

    I think that the law should be changed to allow a parent of an adult child to be able to admit them for help for a drug problem because of the child being in denial about a drug problem

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