DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH)–Heroin is a national epidemic which impacts large cities, small towns and suburbs.
That was part of the message at Wednesday’s Community Town Hall Meeting on heroin abuse, hosted by the Dublin Police Department.
“We want to educate the community,” said Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg. “Dublin is not immune to these types of problems.”
According to county officials, the number of Franklin County heroin-related deaths in 2014 is nearly double that same statistic from two years earlier.
Chief von Eckartsberg said at least 70 percent of Dublin’s property crimes are committed by people abusing drugs.
“Heroin and opiate abuse is everywhere,” he said. “It’s all over the country. It’s in Ohio and it’s in communities like Dublin. The first step to doing something about it is acknowledging that and doing something about it.”
Police say community input is imperative to curing the epidemic.
The town hall meeting included speeches not only from law enforcement, but also those who have firsthand experience dealing with drug abuse.
“The most important three words a parent can never say is ‘not my kid,'” said Paul Schoonover, whose son died from a heroin overdose in 2012. “It may be your kid, or the kid next door or down the street, or your niece, your nephew or your grandchild.”
While no future town hall meetings are scheduled, von Eckartsberg said Wednesday’s event is just the beginning of the conversation.