GALLIPOLIS — A senior from South Gallia High School presented his research before the Walnut Township Crime Watch Monday pertaining to recent drug and crime trends.
“This is my third year serving as a community mentor for high school seniors in Gallia County,” said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren. “I appreciate every opportunity to work alongside our youth and to watch them make a difference in their schools and community. Tristan tackled the biggest issue facing our county, the opioid crisis, and I am very proud of the work he has done.”
Tristan Janey presented his work before the assembled. The information he presented is part of a capstone research project. According to his research, he said that in 2017, there were 4,854 opioid-related deaths in Ohio. In the country, there were over 72,000. The top three opioids leading to death typically involve heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl. Heroin was first created in 1874 by an English chemist, Janey’s information said. It was a product of morphine. Morphine was used to treat Civil War veterans. Heroin was developed to help veterans who were addicted to morphine. The result backfired.
Fentanyl was created in the 1960s to treat patients diagnosed with cancer and is considered around 100 times more powerful than morphine.
In 2017, Janey said, Gallia experienced 15 opioid-related deaths. In 2012, there were three, 2013 saw six, 2014 saw six, 2015 saw 10 and 2016 saw 13. In 2018, there were reportedly five probable deaths and 11 confirmed ones due to opioid usage.
Janey also shared his experiences interviewing Amber Richards, of Field of Hope, a former addict who now works for the facility assisting women in drug rehabilitation. Reportedly, the facility has an 80 percent success rate, he said, as a faith-based treatment center. Janey also interviewed Gallipolis Municipal Judge Eric Mulford about his experiences with law enforcement surrounding opioids.
Janey urged others to reach out in fighting the drug epidemic and “take back America.”