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Heroin abuse is gaining a lot of attention as it spreads through Ohio’s suburbs. But it’s in rural areas like Tuscarawas County that the drug has been a huge problem for a decade.

Some describe it as a first love; others as a lifelong battle.

This week during Morning Edition on WKSU, hear a three-part series examining heroin abuse in small-town Ohio with stories of addiction, death -- and hope.

Getting past the taste of heroin that never really goes away
28-year-old Anthony Vitt has been to rehab, jail and prison because of heroin. Now, he's five years' sober and a drug counselor

This week, Attorney General Eric Holder called the increase in heroin-related deaths an “urgent and growing public health crisis.” Officials in Cuyahoga County project 200 people will die from heroin overdoses this year. But in what might seem like the most unlikely place of all -- the rural communities of Tuscarawas County -- the drug has had a devastating presence for more than a decade. WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz has a story of one addict who's found a new beginning.   
(more )
Heroin recovery: Can you go it alone?
A New Philadelphia man's 12-year battle with heroin addiction suggests you need help to climb from the abyss

Heroin has long been considered an urban problem. In the last year, the drug has spread to the suburbs at an alarming rate, prompting officials to declare a statewide epidemic. But, in the rural communities of Northeast Ohio, heroin has been big a problem for a decade. A group of about two-dozen white, middle-to-upper class Tuscarawas County kids all got hooked on the drug in high school. WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz shares Sam Hochstetler's story.
(more )
An aspiring artist's death spurs hope for other heroin addicts
Zach Davis was a 19-year-old art student when heroin consumed his life and, five years later, led to his death. Now, his mother Anita Davis has opened a treatment facility in New Philadelphia.

Heroin has been declared an epidemic in Ohio. More than 170 people died of overdoses in Cuyahoga County, taking more lives than homicides or car accidents. And there’s been a lot more concern about its spread through the suburbs. But in Northeast Ohio’s rural communities, heroin has been a huge problem for a decade. A group of about two-dozen white, middle-to-upper class Tuscarawas County kids all got hooked on the drug in high school. The reason? They were bored. The consequences? Addiction, death … and hope.

In the first of a series of reports on heroin abuse in small-town Ohio, WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports on the ultimate of those consequences and what sprang from it.
(more )

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