Community meeting spread awareness of deaths increasing from the Northeast Ohio heroin epidemic

Heroin addiction can start with prescription drugs

BROOKLYN, Ohio - Heroin overdoses are up 500 percent over the past seven years in Northeast Ohio. Wednesday night, there was a public meeting to address the growing problem.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Astrab led the panel discussion at the Brooklyn Library. He recently sent a man to prison for selling heroin in the parking lot of Dave & Busters in Westlake, and says many people are turning to the dangerous drug after getting hooked on prescription painkillers.

The heroin epidemic killed nearly 200 people last year. Half of those deaths happened in suburbs like Gates Mills, Pepper Pike and Brooklyn.

"We have people that have actually become much more proactive with regard to the fight against heroin after attending one of our seminars they have had contact with law enforcement, they’ve formed groups, they’ve actually set friends to rehab and taken extra steps to make sure that folks that have problems are getting help," said Astrab.

Judge Astrab said there are a lot of resources available to help family affected by heroin, but education is the key.

One of the videos above is a 4:50 video testimonial from a recovered heroin addict.

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