Drug task force head urges Ohio emergency declaration


CINCINNATI (AP) — The head of a Cincinnati area drug task force wants the state of Ohio to declare a public health emergency to free up more resources for fighting heroin after a sudden overdose spike.

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan of the Hamilton County Drug Coalition says people should tell Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) and legislators that, “We need help ... to stop the bleeding.”

The governor’s office didn’t respond immediately Tuesday to a request for comment.

Synan spoke at a news conference led by Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, who confirmed that the powerful elephant tranquilizer carfentanil was found in the bodies of eight recent overdose casualties, and more cases are suspected.

Authorities say nearly 300 overdoses have been reported in the Cincinnati area beginning Aug. 19.

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