Fighting heroin on the westside


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

As heroin overdoses continue to plague Ohio, Franklin Township also is feeling the effects of the drug epidemic.

At a recent meeting, the board approved allowing the township’s police department and fire department to carry Narcan.

“We will carry 120 doses of Narcan in the event there is an overdose,” said Chas Adams, assistant chief for the Franklin Township Fire Department.

Naloxone or Narcan is a medication used to block the effects of opioids, specifically overdoses.

Franklin Township was given $14,000 worth of the drug from Franklin County Public Health in an effort to reduce the amount of overdoses on the Westside. In 2015, Ohio had 1,177 heroin overdoses, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Since 2002, the state has had more than 12,000 deaths as a result of the deadly drug.

“This is just one step out of many the township would like to do to fight this epidemic,” said John Fleshman, Franklin Township trustee. “Our officers and EMS responders are carrying this drug around and have been trained on how to give it to people suffering an overdose. The drug reverses the effects of heroin and actually saves lives. However, more than this needs to be done.”

According to Fleshman, this is an issue in every community in the state, regardless of race, wealth or other socioeconomic factors.

“People think this is only a problem in low income neighborhoods, but it isn’t,” Fleshman said. “These people who overdose are from Franklin Township, as well as more affluent neighborhoods. Their wealth or background has nothing to do with this.”

Fleshman said the township is taking this epidemic serious and taking steps to fight it.

“I recently attended an event with the city and the county where we discussed what else can be done to stop this epidemic,” he said. “The biggest thing I’m hearing is that people get a prescription for pain medication and when that prescription runs out they are turning toward heroin.”

Fleshman said that during the meeting they discussed how to treat these people and found that arresting them isn’t always the answer.

“These people need treatment; they shouldn’t just be locked up,” he said. “Seven people a week die from heroin in Ohio, so obviously what we have been doing isn’t working. It is time to come up with some new ideas on how to fight this.”

For more information on what Franklin Township is doing to protect the Westside from drug overdoses, visit

Previous articlePrairie Township joins Ohiocheckbook site
Next articleFor the love of music


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.