It is day five of the Rubber City Radio Group’s spotlight on the heroin epidemic, and today, we look to what we as a community can do next. Summit County sheriff Steve Barry joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to inform what his office is doing to stop the heroin outbreak. Sheriff Barry says the county is putting teams together to gather as much information as possible to educate the public about opiates and the subsequent addiction. Why is it so bad in Akron? He believes our location nationally, as well as a lower economic state, are large factors. What can the people do? Barry urges the public to read the signs and call their local law enforcement agency if they come across suspicious activity. By doing so, officers can arrest the local traffickers, then working their way up to the suppliers.
It is day four of the Rubber City Radio Group’s platform on the heroin epidemic in the area. The spotlight today is on the treatment of opiate addiction and the various in the area who are there to assist. Summa Health System’s Dr. Alan Shein, MD of Addiction Medicine Services, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the treatment program an addict will undergo. First off, Dr. Shein touched on how and why a person would make the jump from prescription drugs that include opiates to heroin, which would not only quell the pain, but to illicit a euphoria. The program at Summa is designed to help the victims get off heroin dependency and assist with the withdrawal symptoms. Though the detoxification process is an uncomfortable one, the medical staff will prescribe medication to the patients, which will help flush the opiates out of the body. The timeline is about four to five days, then the patient will transition to the next level of care.
In our continuing coverage of the heroin crisis in Summit County, we showcase some of the facilities in the area dedicated to helping those find the path to recovery. The Interval Brotherhood Home, or IBH, is a drug and alcohol recovery center located on S. Main Street near the Portage Lakes. The recovery center has been in operation since 1970, and Joe Rifici, an associate clinical director, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what IBH does. Rifici spoke in depth about the recovery program, which helps patients find their spiritual side. Since 2009, when he joined IBH, Rifici says victims of heroin abuse has increased exponentially, mainly in the last year. He notices patients come from every background come through the doors, no matter the race or economic upbringing.
Terry Pluto is an award-winning sportswriter and columnist with the Plain Dealer, and is known across the region for his thoughts and analysis of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. But what may not widely known is his work with prison inmates and addicts in their paths to recovery. Pluto joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss his experience in dealing with struggling or recovering addicts, specifically heroin. In the decades he has been meeting with these victims, Pluto has seen the growth of heroin in these communities, no matter the racial or socioeconomic background. He believes heroin is deadlier than crack cocaine.