Heroin epidemic: Campaign unveiled to fight opioid crisis

Heroin epidemic: Campaign unveiled to fight opioid crisis
Updated: Apr. 5, 2017 at 2:13 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner held a news conference on Wednesday afternoon to educate the public about the opioid epidemic throughout northeast Ohio.

A new collaborative campaign for raising awareness and steps to combat the epidemic will be unveiled at the "Know the Risks" event. As part of the campaign, a social media hashtag was created: #KnowTheRx.

The news conference took place at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office with Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and County Executive Armond Budish.

In the past three days, Cleveland Police said they responded to a total of 29 opiate-related incidents, including three fatalities. During the month of February, there were at least 60 fatal opiate-related overdoses, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

"Cleveland hospitals and faith-based organizations are devoted to the cause," said County Executive Armond Budish.

Leaders stressed the problem needs to be stopped where it starts.

"If we help someone on the front end we know it will make an impact," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

Greg McNeil's son died of a heroin overdose that was heavily laced with fentanyl.

"My family was blindsided. We thought we had it covered," said McNeil. "Education is one of the key pillars. You need to get out in front of it."

Join Cleveland 19 in combating the epidemic with the Spot the Signs campaign.

Thursday, Cleveland 19 will air a special "Know the Risks" about the crisis at 7:30 p.m. It will be hosted by Tiffani Tucker and Chris Tanaka.

Download the Cleveland 19 News app and First Alert Weather app.

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