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Tabatha Roland
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A mother's loss and N.Ky. community's concern come together to combat heroin

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A Boone County mother said her daughter's death is a perfect example of just how bad the heroin problem is in Northern Kentucky.

Tina Roland said her daughter, Tabatha, tried to kick her heroin addiction but she could not do it. Heroin was just too powerful.

"She passed away in my house on April 16," Roland said. "I was away on vacation and got the call in Texas."

Heroin was so powerful, she said, it made her powerless.

"There was nothing we could do that was going to prevent her from taking that next hit."

Officials on the front line of the drug problem that took Tabatha want to empower families and Boone County communities to prevent another tragedy like Roland's. Captain Linny Cloyd with the Florence Police Department in Boone County understands the scope of the heroin problem.

"Throughout the Commonwealth, throughout Ohio, throughout the country we're learning there are more arrests and contact with heroin abuse and heroin offenders than ever before," Cloyd said.

In turn, Cloyd and others in Boone County  are in the initial phase of forming a coalition to try and figure out ways to deal with the growing heroin problem facing Northern Kentucky.

In 2011, for example, there were only five heroin related arrests. In 2012 that number jumped to 35. And in Boone County, heroin related deaths doubled from 33 to 66 in a year, according to police.

"You can't arrest your way out of this problem," Cloyd said. "It's not a police problem but a community problem."

Roland agrees and is not letting Tabatha's death be in vain. Through her Facebook page "Tabatha's fight to stop heroin" and her group, Tabathasfight.org , Roland hopes to raise awareness and educate. Her goal is to save a life, although her daughter's couldn't be saved.

"Through all this, I have to say I never gave up... I never gave up," Roland said. "And I know Tabitha didn't make it, but she did try."

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