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Dayton and Montgomery County Officials Meet To Discuss Heroin Epidemic

April Laissle

Montgomery County has the second highest heroin overdose rate in the state of Ohio. It’s a problem that has left commissioners from the City of Dayton and Montgomery County desperate for answers.


At a crowded joint meeting held to discuss the epidemic, representatives from area health organizations explained the hard facts of the issue, and why tackling it has become so complex.

Helen Jones-Kelley, the executive director of The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Montgomery County, says there are no easy answers.

“We’re learning a lot. There’s a lot of relapse, a lot of recidivism involved in this illness as well," said Jones-Kelley. "This is a chronic illness. It’s not as if we treat it for a month and then it’s gone. We don’t have a silver pill that gets rid of it. It is a chronic illness so people have to keep coming back.”

Officials said government agencies can begin to address the problem by providing support for needle exchange programs and increasing access to behavioral health services.