80,000+ sign petition to charge those who overdose in Erie County

(File photo)

SANDUSKY, Ohio– A petition on Change.org is gaining support in one Northeast Ohio community.

Thousands signed a petition to criminally charge people who overdose on heroin and required paramedics to respond in Erie County. More than 83,000 people pledged their support as of 11 a.m. Thursday. That number continues to grow by the minute.

“Where are the adult consequences for abusing, possession etc that any other drug user gets when caught with such things? It’s time to start making these people own up to what they are doing, it’s time to take away everything they own and give them a dose of reality while they sit in a cell and think about what it is they are doing,” the petition description says.

“Let’s not wait until it’s too late and the cemetery continues to fill up unnecessarily.”

The goal is 150,000 signatures, then it will be submitted to Erie County Commissioner Bill Monaghan.

The opioid crisis in Ohio has officials from across the state searching for solutions. County morgues have been overwhelmed by overdose victims, forcing some to bring in mobile units to house the bodies.

In May, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit against five major drug companies. He said they downplayed the risks of opioids like Oxycontin and Percocet, leading to heroin addiction.

In Stark County, the sheriff’s office is distributing Narcan, an opioid antidote, to at-risk inmates who are released from jail. Meanwhile, those on the front lines, from police to nurses to K-9s, are in danger of accidental overdoses.