While there are still addiction issues, other drugs, such as methamphetamines and cocaine are on the rise according to police Lt. David Birk.
Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said police have been successful with their drug detection dogs and working regionally with Butler County’s BURN unit, the Warren County Drug Task Force. In addition, a Middletown detective has been assigned as a liaison with the DEA office in Dayton.
Fire Capt. David VonBargen said that the Quick Response Team started in June 2016 to reach out to people who overdosed in an effort to get them into a treatment program.
“People don’t know how to get help and the system is hard to navigate,” he said.
Adkins said the negative national publicity over the past three months has been difficult for him and the city as they work to attract new businesses and families to locate in Middletown. Some national media identified Middletown as the epicenter of the heroin epidemic in Ohio and failed to include the positive efforts by the community as it attacked the opioid issue, he said.
Middletown Municipal Judge Melynda Cook Howard said, “We keep going. We’ve proven we can come together as a community.”
“Sometimes when you’re weary, you need to renew your strengths,” said Anita Scott Jones, of Atrium Medical Center and a former city council member.
Jones suggested that the city invite Yahoo.com reporters to come back to Middletown to show what the city has done collectively, similar to what was done when Forbes magazine called Middleetown one of the nation’s fastest dying cities in 2008.
“Middletown is going to be the epicenter of recovery,” said Kathy Becker of Access Counseling Services. “Middletown will be a shining star.”
The next summit will be held in January 2018.