Ohio town issues new strategy, consequences in heroin battle

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (WSYX) - People who overdose from heroin are facing some new consequences.

If somebody is revived by police or medics with Naloxone they are being charged with inducing panic.

Police are partnering with prosecutors to try a new way to battle the heroin epidemic and get addicts help. City Attorney Mark Pitsick said "It gives us the ability to keep an eye on them, to offer them assistance and to know who has overdosed. Sometimes we can't even track who has overdosed."

The charge is a misdemeanor and is punishable up to 180 days in jail and a one-thousand dollar fine. Police just started the new strategy in February and so far at least seven people have been issued summonses for inducing panic.

"We are trying everything we can do. It's an epidemic," said Pitsick.

People who call 9 1 1 for an overdose or the people with the victim will not be charged.

"Service. Follow up. Just them understanding that people do care. We are here to help. We are not here to put them in jail," said Pitsick.

"They don't have hope to begin with , but helping them we hope we are giving them the ability to turn their lives around."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off