Days after United States Attorney Booth Goodwin hosted a roundtable discussion about heroin and other drug abuse in southern West Virginia, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that new training developed to assist law enforcement officers in the fight against the heroin epidemic in the Buckeye State is now available.
Nearly 100 officers representing 48 agencies from 24 counties attended "Heroin Epidemic: Recognition and Investigation" training on Wednesday, Feb. 26. It was provided by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio. The free training was developed after data in 2013 revealed a 107-percent increase in heroin overdose deaths among more than half of Ohio's counties. "We believe that heroin is now in every community in this state. People from every walk of life are getting addicted, and it is tearing families apart," said DeWine in a news release. "This training will help make sure law enforcement has the most up-to-date information on fighting and preventing heroin abuse, which will be especially beneficial for communities where heroin is still a relatively new problem."
The training addresses the extent of the heroin problem, recent trends in abuse and trafficking, demographics of new heroin users and how to investigate cases. The course also puts focus on heroin use and trafficking in high school environments and includes presentations from a prevention expert, a mother of an overdose victim, and a former heroin addict.
This is part of a larger effort to combat heroin in Ohio. DeWine also expanded his office's drug prevention efforts in 2013 and formed a new Heroin Unit to assist local law enforcement in targeting high level drug traffickers.