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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Share Ohio Heroin Stories

According to the latest Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network report, black-tar heroin is the most available form of the drug in central Ohio, selling for as little as $10 for a single-use amount.

There is also widespread availability of prescription opioid painkillers, such as Dilaudid, Oxycontin and Vicodin, but costs remain high, as much as $20 to $30 for a single pill.

The report covered January to June 2014. The Columbus region includes eight counties, from Crawford on the north to Pickaway on the south.

(Alan Johnson. "Heroin, crack ‘easy’ to find in central Ohio, state report shows."
The Columbus Dispatch.

* In central Ohio, Marin Riggs died of a heroin overdose on January 28, 2012, two weeks after her 20th birthday. She became addicted just 18 months earlier after smoking it, then turning to intravenous injections.

Marin Riggs was a pretty, bright girl who graduated early from high school in the Columbus suburbs of Pickerington, and she had plans to study to become an ultrasound technician. She had been a high school athlete, the last person one could imagine becoming a heroin addict, said her mother, Heidi Riggs.

"She loved life. She had good friends. She was funny. She was bright," her mother said. "She was your all-American teenager."

But Marin also suffered from self-esteem issues and may have felt bullied in school about her weight, her mother said. After her graduation the family began to notice missing spoons — used to dissolve heroin — and unusual expenses, such as $300 in gas on a company fuel card of her father's. They learned of her addiction after she was required to submit to a drug test after being charged in a traffic accident.

Marin couldn't shake the grip of heroin despite stints in rehab and attendance at AA meetings. She overdosed at home after six months of sobriety. Her mother now works for DeWine trying to educate people about the dangers of heroin.

"She knew she could die from it, but the grip that it had on her, and the way it made her feel, she'd go right back to it," Heidi Riggs said.

(Andrew Welsh-Huggins. "Ohio sees record high heroin overdose deaths; Lake County officials weigh in." The Morning Journal. April 18, 2014)
* A 33-year-old woman faces homicide charges after she allegedly sold drugs to a man who died of a heroin overdose. Brandy Camp, of Wilmington, was arrested after a Clinton County grand jury indicted her on multiple charges in the March 2014 death of 38-year-old Richard Campbell Jr.

Camp is accused of causing Campbell's death after selling him a mix of heroin and fentanyl, on which he later overdosed. She was indicted on 13 charges: involuntary manslaughter; reckless homicide; four counts of trafficking in heroin; two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs; heroin possession; endangering children; tampering with evidence; possession of criminal tools; and receiving stolen property.

("Ohio woman charged in heroin overdose death." WHIO. September 3, 2014) 

* A northeastern Ohio man who gave heroin to a woman who later died from an overdose has been sentenced to three years in a state prison. Twenty-two-year-old Jack Shaffer turned and apologized to the family of Julia Robbins in the sentencing hearing in Akron.

Shaffer had pleaded guilty in December, 2014, to involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs in connection with Julia Robbins' death last March.

Prosecutors say Shaffer bought the heroin from another man and gave it to the 21-year-old Robbins, who died from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that the 21-year-old man who allegedly sold the heroin to Shaffer is scheduled to stand trial in February on a drug-trafficking charge.

("Ohio man gets 3 years for providing heroin in fatal overdose."
The Plain Dealer. January 31, 2015) 

* A 14-year-old Akron girl is accused of helping an adult relative purchase heroin that eventually killed her.

No charges have been filed in the case and Akron drug detectives are searching phone records to see if they can find evidence against the person who sold the drugs.

A woman found Brandy L. Amaro, 33, dead of a suspected heroin overdose about 6 a.m. on Jan. 14 inside the bedroom of her home.

Detectives were called to the home to investigate, police reports say. Police found evidence of heroin use in the room. Witnesses told police that Amaro suffered from a heroin addiction, according to court records.

Akron detectives found that Amaro would call the 14-year-old girl when she wanted to make a purchase, according to court records.

Investigators interviewed the girl the same day in the presence of her parents. The girl told police Amaro called her earlier that day and wanted to buy $40 worth of the drug, according to court records. The girl told police that she got in touch with her heroin contact, who sold Amaro the drugs, court records say.

(Adam Ferrise. "Akron teen accused of helping relative buy heroin that led to overdose." Plain Dealer. February 12, 2015)

Please, share these true stories with others. Educate your loved ones of all ages about the deadly consequences of taking heroin and/or distributing the drug.

Nothing good can come from experimenting with the substance, and the rocky road for those who insist upon associating with this criminal enterprise forks three ways: (1) hopeful but none too often successful intervention and rehab, (2) prison time for drug charges and related crimes committed under the influence, and (3) death -- accidental or criminal in nature.

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