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Miamisburg Police charging people who overdose

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Overdoses are overwhelming the City of Miamisburg. Now, police are giving an ultimatum.

"They can either seek help, or they can go to jail," Det. Sgt. Jeff Muncy said.

Inside a drawer at the station are case files from 2016.

"We had 87 overdoses, which resulted in 10 deaths," Muncy said.

So, last year the department started charging users with inducing panic. When state laws changed, they suspended efforts. Two months into 2017, police have seen 50 overdoses and nine deaths.

"So, we're on track for ... five times the number from 2016," said Muncy.

The spike pushed them to start again, with a longer list of potential charges.

"Inducing panic, OVI, child endangering, public intoxication," he added.

But the goal isn't punishment, it's help. By choosing treatment, the charges are essentially dropped. The court orders a Vivitrol shot.

"It's been an excellent tool," said Richard Confer with Recovery Works Healing. "It's probably the most effective tool we've had."

Many court-ordered addicts get funneled to their center in West Carrollton.

"We would go to the Montgomery County Jail, provide a screening and an assessment," Confer said.

The inmates are then released directly into the program. Right now, 60 people are on Vivitrol, with a 70-percent success rate.

"By the time they get to us, they are grateful for the chance at treatment," said Confer.

Police say addicts quit one of two ways: through treatment or death.

"We recently had somebody that texted one of their family members and said, 'After tonight, I'm not going to do heroin anymore,'" Muncy said. "That last dose was the last thing he ever did. It killed him."

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