CINCINNATI -- We’ve known it for some time, but now the Queen City is garnering national attention for something nobody wants to admit.
We’re a heroin hotspot.
Bloomberg called us “a center of the crisis,” claiming that heroin has become "so profitable for the cartels that supply it that even cops admit the sporadic arrests they make have little effect.”
In fact, Bloomberg contends that 2017 is shaping up as the most profitable year ever for the American heroin trade.
Local police told Bloomberg they’ve seen heroin dealers get ever more creative in pushing drugs out in the street. They noted two-for-one deals set up on car hoods in city parks or dealers with scheduled business hours. They say brash dealers may even drop free samples with their phone number into passing cars to lure in new customers.
Mary Day, a 27-year-old recovering addict, told Bloomberg her highs got more intense as synthetics like fentanyl snuck into her heroin supply over the past few years.
She got clean in April after watching a friend overdose on a small hit.
On Wednesday, Day told WCPO she supports a proposed city ordinance in Dayton, Kentucky, that would force heroin addicts to pay for naloxone, the drug used to revive them from an overdose.
"I think it's a great idea. I mean, I wouldn't mind paying for what saved my life," Day told WCPO. "I think when a person gets better and continues that treatment and has their disease at a standing point, it would be good for us to be able to give back what was so freely given to us.”
President Donald Trump promised to take on the opioid epidemic during his campaign, but the House-approved healthcare bill slashes Medicaid funding, Bloomberg reports. Trump’s budget also cuts 95 percent of funding to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is charged with directing our country’s drug-fighting strategy.
“Things are a little bit in chaos at the federal level,” Jason Doctor, associate professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy, told Bloomberg. “I agree in principle with the idea that we need to do something differently, think creatively, or do something radical,” Doctor says. “I’m not confident yet that the administration is doing that.”