By: Catrina Leone
The number of heroin related deaths are slowly on the increase, even here in Cleveland. Mayor Frank Jackson, Cleveland City Council members, and other members in our community gathered at East 14th and Carneige to bring awareness to the growing drug abuse problem. A billboard campaign to promote prescription drug and heroin abuse was also unveiled. City officials want to bring attention to the fact that prescription drug abuse is a known pathway to heroin addiction.
Clear channel outdoor is donating more than 20 billboards across the city that will direct the public to hotline numbers, in case they need assistance. “Prescription drugs are a benefit to patients when used properly, but illegal use of opiates often leads to addiction and the risk of turning to heroin abuse, an escalating health issue in Northeast Ohio,” said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. “Council is committed to fighting the prescription drug abuse epidemic through education, prevention programs, as well as giving our law enforcement the tools to eliminate improper prescribing practices.”
*All photo’s provided by: William C. Rieter**
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between prescription drug abuse and heroin use. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that people who used prescription pain relievers illegally were 19 times more likely to have started using heroin.
This epidemic is something very serious happening in our area, we will continue to follow this story as it contiunes to unfold. Stay tuned to TV20 for the latest on what is taking place in Cleveland!