Heroin has become a major campaign issue in Ohio as politicians disagree over who has done more to tackle the problem.
In the race for Attorney General, democratic challenger David Pepper has accused GOP Incumbent Mike Dewine of a slow response to the heroin epidemic, but, Steve Carrel the Chief Executive Officer of Muskingum Behavior Health said that this isn’t really a political issue. The small parts that the politicos suggest may be good, but, the reality of the situation is that, this is a public health, law enforcement and community issue.
"Treatment is only one piece of it" said Carrel, "law enforcement is only another piece of it, its not a cure all end all. What we need is communities that support recovery."
In his more than 30 years working in the treatment field Carrel said the programs have been grossly under funded. But, Carrel feels that along with funding and more treatment options, communities need to support recovering addicts and give them a chance. He even suggests a way politicians could truly make an impact.
"I would even challenge them to hire someone who is in long term recovery on their staff, a person who is willing to say I am in long term recovery."
With hundreds of people dying in Ohio each year from heroin overdoses, Carrel says there is no quick solution to this problem.