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City Health Dept. Provides Update On Heroin Response


Cincinnati's health department is working with other regional partners to address the worsening heroin crisis.  

So far this year there have been more overdoses than for all of last year.  
Health Department interim director Marilyn Crumpton said the department is working to hire an addiction counselor.

"We feel like that is going to help us to really begin to try to focus on a more holistic solution and we think that's the key," Crumpton said. "It can't just be picking on part of this, we have to stay looking at the whole numbers and beginning to drive that down. So, that's what we're looking at."

The city is also partnering with the U.C. College of Medicine on a syringe exchange program.  City council provided $150,000 for the effort in this year's city budget.

Jennifer Mooney with the department said the exchange numbers have tripled in six months.

"These are 40,000 syringes that could have otherwise been discarded in parks, buses or waste cans and sorts of different environments," Mooney said. "While we are protecting users, we're also protecting the community and that is absolutely, incredibly important."

Through the end of August, there have been 1,733 overdoses in the city compared with 1,676 for all of 2016. Through the same period there have been 122 fatal overdoses this year compared with 107 in 2016.