Overdose survivors in this Ohio city face misdemeanor charge

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WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio — A southwest Ohio community is trying to fight the heroin epidemic by bringing a misdemeanor charge against drug users who are revived by emergency responders using an overdose antidote.

Chief Brian Hottinger says Washington Court House police in February began citing people with inducing panic if responders revive them with naloxone. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

City Attorney Mark Pitsick tells WSYX-TV the strategy is aimed not at jailing more people but at giving authorities a way to track who has overdosed and offer them help.

At least seven people have been issued summonses for inducing panic so far.

People who call 911 for an overdose or people who are with the drug user won’t be charged.

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