Response To Heroin Use Becomes Campaign Issue
Heroin has become a campaign issue in Ohio this year as politicians disagree over who has done the most to tackle the epidemic of overdose deaths blamed on the narcotic.
The most recent Ohio Department of Health records show a record 680 Ohioans died of heroin-related overdoses in 2012. In the race for Attorney General, Democratic challenger David Pepper has accused Republican incumbent Mike DeWine of a slow response to the epidemic since taking office in 2011. Pepper and DeWine both have proposed a mix of education, treatment, prevention and enhanced penalties for dealers. DeWine says he's launched a number of initiatives to battle a crisis he calls unprecedented. When DeWine took office in January 2011, the leading concern for health officials was prescription painkillers, not heroin.