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CAMPBELL COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -
A town hall meeting was held
Tuesday to discuss the use of heroin, which according to
the numbers is becoming an epidemic in Northern Kentucky.
In 2010, the Kentucky State
Police drug section handled 451 cases related to heroin. By September of 2012, that number
had more than doubled. Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties account for 63% of all heroin
arrests in Kentucky.
The Drug Free Alliance meeting in
Campbell County is one way the community is trying to combat this growing
One presenter at the meeting
summarized it simply:
"Addiction is not a crime,
it's a disease," said Charlotte Wethington, a recovery advocate for
Campbell County is gathering
resources from law enforcement, medical field, and treatment centers to help
combat the heroin issue.
"Casey is my son,"
Wethington added. "He died at the age of 23 of a heroin overdose."
After the death of her son,
Wethington channeled her emotions into helping others battling addiction. She is part of the community
effort to stop the abuse of heroin in Northern Kentucky.
"Heroin has become more and more
accessible in Northern Kentucky," said Bill Mark, director of the Northern
Kentucky Drug Strike Force. "And over the last few years heroin trafficking
investigations have come to make up the majority of the cases that our officers
The Northern Kentucky Drug Strike
Force covers Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, where a large percentage of
heroin-related cases take place.
"It's hard to wrap your mind
around that just these three counties out of 120 have kind of become the heroin
hot spot in the whole state," Mark explained.
Dr. Mike Kalfas is an addiction
specialist. He says it is the uncertainties
that make heroin such a dangerous drug.
"When you take a pill, like
a Percocet, you know what you're getting. If you're buying heroin off the
street, you're not sure what did the cut it with, how potent is it or what
other things did they put in it. So you're not dosing yourself the same. And
one of the dangers is, with a drug like heroin, there's a high what we call
‘therapeutic to toxic window.' In other words the amount to get to get the
effect, is close to the amount of an overdose," said Kalfas.
Charlotte Wethington left
everyone at the meeting with one message. If you suspect someone in your life
has a problem, act now and do not wait until there is evidence a problem
For resources or more information
on the Campbell County Drug Free Alliance, you can contact them at (859) 441-6323.