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Cincinnati Planning Heroin Quick Response Team

Tana Weingartner
The city is proposing to partner with Talbert House to teach community members how to use naxlone kits in the event of a heroin overdose.

Cincinnati's mayor and several council members are proposing a plan to create a heroin quick response team, much like those already in Colerain and Norwood.

The team would visit people after an overdose to offer help and addiction services. Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld says the city will partner with Talbert House and also offer community training sessions.

"As part of this initiative, 20 community-based sessions open to everyone will occur throughout our neighborhoods to provide opioid overdose recognition and response training," says Sittenfeld. "Specifically training on how to safely and properly administer the lifesaving drug Narcan."

The proposal calls for the city to come up with $136,500 in funding "via Asset Forfeiture funds, Human Service funds, or other appropriate and available sources." Council's Law and Public Safety Committee will take up the idea in the coming weeks.

Mayor John Cranley also wants the city's law department to follow Kentucky's lead and consider taking the makers of addictive opioid prescription drugs to court.

"If, in fact, the overprescription of opioids is part of the problem, then I think we need to look at the same kind of reimbursement that Kentucky got of $24 million from the producer of Oxycontin. So, I'm asking our law department to just look into those cases and see if we have similar fact patterns and similar claims."

Hamilton County Seizes Tainted Heroin

In the wake of a higher than normal number of heroin-related overdoses, police across Hamilton County have theorized there could be a tainted batch of heroin on the streets. Now, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says a pink substance recovered during a drug bust Aug. 26 has tested positive for the powerful sedatives carfentanil and fentanyl.

Hamilton County's Regional Narcotics Unit says it seized approximately 28 grams of heroin and carfentanil.

In a statement, the Sheriff's office writes, "It only takes about 2 milligrams of carfentanil to knock out a 2000 pound elephant. Carfentanil is the most potent opioid used commercially and about 10,000
times stronger that morphine."