Recent reports of record heroin overdoses and deaths make it hard to ignore the drug’s debilitating effect on the nation. Drug overdose — primarily on opioids, including heroin —is the leading cause of accidental death in America, according to theAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine.
Here are some headlines from this summer:
Heroin suspected in 20 Milwaukee deaths in 2 weeks
Milwaukee County averages about one heroin death every three days, but that number recently skyrocketed. An “unprecedented” 20 people died of probable heroin overdoses in the county during the past two weeks, according to the county medical examiner’s office. Heroin-related deaths in the area continue to rise.
10 hours, 15 overdoses in Akron, Ohio
In less than 10 hours, responders in a northeast Ohio city rushed to at least 15 overdoses — one of them fatal. Among those taken to the hospital were a woman and her two daughters. Police said 55 people have died from heroin overdoses in Akron in 2016.
Study: Opioid epidemic increasingly reaching newborn babies
A study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data in 28 states, reveals that babies born dependent on drugs increased 300% between 1999 and 2013. Babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome experience withdraw and are likely to suffer long-term cognitive disabilities such as attention-deficit disorder. A CDC study released last month found that heroin addiction among women doubled from 2011 to 2014 compared with 2002 to 2004. A Pennsylvania woman recently shared her story about being addicted to heroin and being pregnant. In July, she was 20 weeks pregnant and gave birth to a son. He lived for three hours.
Bad batch of heroin believed to be source of 14 overdoses
Mansfield is a small town, with a population of about 45,000, in Ohio. Unfortunately, first responders in the area are used to handling overdoses during nearly every shift. Aug. 10, they responded to 14 cases, all believed to be caused by a bad batch of heroin. Because of the number of overdoses, the city nearly ran out of Narcan, having to collect an emergency batch from a nearby pharmacy.
Woman who trafficked daughter for heroin sentenced to 51 years to life
This summer, a Cincinnati woman was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison for trafficking her daughter to get heroin. Mother April Corcoran forced her daughter to be sodomized, raped, perform oral sex and be frequently videotaped by Corcoran’s drug dealer, prosecutors say. The encounters happened between February and June 2014.