The Welsh Police Chief and Cincinnati’s Heroin Epidemic

A heroin addiction can be dangerous and, often, deadly. As heroin is a highly addictive substance, an addict will need to go through an addiction detox to overcome this type of substance abuse. These kinds of addiction are not only increasingly common here in the UK but also across the Pond in the USA as well.

One area in the States that has a concerning number of heroin addicts is the city of Cincinnati; in fact, the figures are so bad that heroin addiction is now considered a public health crisis in the city. Shocking statistics have emerged that reveal overdose deaths in Cincinnati have risen from 189 in 2011 to 414 in 2015.

Model Department

Lt Col Mike John is an assistant police chief who works for the Cincinnati Police Department. He currently works as an investigations bureau commander. John is originally from Cardiff but moved to Cincinnati after meeting his wife Christine who was an exchange student from the US. After graduating in 1990, he emigrated to the US to be with Christine, and they soon married. He became a US citizen on the very first day he was eligible, in May 1994, and joined the Cincinnati Police Department three years later.

John said, “I truly love my job. I am incredibly fortunate to work with some incredible professionals who care about their fellow citizens.” He then went on to say that the department is now considered to be a ‘model’ in regards to policing in the USA.


Authorities have stated that more potent substances such as carfentanil and fentanyl are being mixed with heroin in the city, and it is this to blame for the increasing number of overdoses there. Speaking about the current heroin epidemic that is taking place in Cincinnati, John said, “It’s poison. People simply do not know what they are buying. It is literally killing people – it is like pointing a gun to somebody when you put these synthetics on the street. I don’t think there’s anybody that wants to be a heroin addict when they grow up. But it is so difficult because it makes you sick when you want to quit.”

Preventing the Spread of Drug Abuse

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition was set up to provide emergency support for drug addicts as well as aiming to prevent the spread of drug abuse in younger generations. The coalition combines treatment providers, public health officials, law enforcement and prevention experts in the hope that it will achieve maximum results.

A special unit of police officers has been created in light of this and going by the name of The Hamilton County Heroin Task Force. This unit oversees the investigation of any heroin overdose death, and its primary aim is to discover where the drug came from in each instance and who was responsible for providing it.

Changed Traditional Approach

Police have found that simply arresting these heroin addicts is not working, so they have tactically changed their traditional approach. “Simply incarcerating those found in possession of drugs does not necessarily provide those suffering from addiction the recovery services they need to rehabilitate,” explained John. “This is a challenging time for all police professionals. Although we have improved police-community relations here locally, we are by no means at a point where we would consider saying ‘job done’.”

Addiction Detox Process

The first step in overcoming any addiction is to admit that there is a problem. Many addicts will be in denial about their situation and will refuse to admit they are addicted. However, upon facing up to the truth, they will be able to begin their journey toward recovery.

When overcoming an addiction, the first course of action is to go through an addiction detox. This process is designed to rid the body of all toxic substances (such as drugs or alcohol). It is recommended that the addiction detox should be carried out under medical supervision to minimise the risk of any complications. Although it can be done at home, it is wise to have a loved one or friend in attendance to avoid any potential issues. Once this step is completed, the addict can begin other treatments to help him or her progress toward recovery.

Help with Overcoming a Heroin Addiction

If you are concerned that yourself or a loved one might be suffering from a heroin addiction, the most crucial step is to get help. This is often easier said than done as many addicts will be in denial about their addiction and will refuse any help. Nevertheless, it is essential that they accept support as it is the only way to overcome the addiction.

At Addiction Helper, we will ensure that you feel fully supported and comfortable with your choice of addiction detox facility or rehab clinic should you decide to go that route. We will make sure that you find a treatment provider that will benefit you specifically and give you the best chance of overcoming your addiction. For more information, contact us today.

Source:  Wales-born police chief tackles Cincinnati heroin crisis (BBC)

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