Heroin and meth continue to plague area

Rich Muller

Herald Staff Writer

As of March 30, Barberton EMS have responded to 107 overdoses and given Narcan 119 times. The lifesaving Narcan was administered 843 times last year.

The Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board (ADM) operates an addiction help line, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., at 330-940-1133. Callers are provided with information about treatment options available. The ADM Crisis Center, 330-996-7730, is available on a 24/7 basis for detoxification and assessment services.

While heroin overdoses gathers most of the headlines, it is not the only drug being abused. According to Barberton Police narcotics officer Paul Laurella, methamphetamine use does not get the attention as heroin because it does not manifest itself in overdoses and death. There is still a significant problem with meth use, he said.

Meth use is about the same as in previous years. It’s the source which has changed. Crystal meth from Mexico has been flooding the country at a price close to the meth produced in home meth labs.

Laurella stated only two meth labs were found in Barberton last year. Of those, only one was an operating lab with the other just the chemicals for making meth. In two other instances components of old, used labs were found discarded.

“While heroin certainly has the limelight because the immediate effects are worse, meth use is still a big problem here,” Laurella said.

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