AKRON, Ohio - The city of Akron kicked off a new anti-meth/heroin campaign. It starts off with some very direct and graphic billboards.
The billboards include images of the scarred face of a meth user, a woman with a needle in her arm and a needle on the floor with a body in the background. Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said the images are intended to get people's attention.
City Councilman Jeff Fusco said serious talks started after the death of 17-month-old Patrick Lerch. Lerch died from ingesting meth in a home, in Akron's Goodyear Heights neighborhood, where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend.
The boys death and the recent rise in heroin overdoses and deaths, has lead the city to start an educational campaign to help users and their families.
Council President Garry Moneypenny said the campaign will also include radio and newspaper ads, ads on city trucks and buses and posters in schools.
Akron Police Chief James Nice said users need help, but dealers are a whole different story, "Dealing poison to people that are dying in the streets. I myself go out on some of those calls. I have been in the back of the paramedic wagon at least fifteen times while people are dying and I get firsthand what's going on and I want to hold heroin dealers accountable for dealing heroin."