Heroin widespread kills during slightest 23 Ohioans any week

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The following is a book from "The Heroin Epidemic" that aired on Apr 24, 2016. Bill Whitaker is a correspondent. Tom Anderson, producer.

It's one of a biggest problems in America today: a out-of-control heroin epidemic. It's function all over a nation and forcing authorities to confirm either heroin should be treated as a medical or a authorised problem.

Last year, we reported that heroin is swelling by a Columbus, Ohio, suburbs.

Ohio has been tough strike by heroin and we comparison Columbus since a area is Middle America personified -- where companies have left for years to exam and marketplace new products.

Now it's where drug dealers, many of them from Mexico, are selling their inexpensive and increasingly absolute heroin.

We motionless to go behind to Ohio this year to see what is being finished or could be finished to solve a problem that is murdering during slightest 23 people in Ohio each week.

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New Beginnings' Angie Pelfrey shows Bill Whitaker a "death wall"

Bill Whitaker: Angie, what is this with all these names on a wall here?

Angie Pelfrey: We call this a "death wall."

Bill Whitaker: The genocide wall?

Angie Pelfrey: Yes.

Bill Whitaker: Why is that?

Angie Pelfrey: Majority of a people on this wall have died of drug overdose due to heroin.

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The "death wall" during New Beginnings rehab facility

Angie Pelfrey, a former helper and recuperating opioids addict, runs a New Beginnings rehab trickery in farming Piketon, Ohio.

Angie Pelfrey: By 2010, we had about 50 names, total. But now, 2016, we're over 3,000.

Bill Whitaker: That's incredible.

Angie Pelfrey: It is incredible.

Many of a names are mothers, brothers, even grandmothers -- kin or friends of Angie's residents. They come from all over a state, and scarcely everybody knew people on a wall.

Bill Whitaker: That's roughly everybody.

Man: There's 23 people in there on a wall from my hometown.

Bill Whitaker: Is it a tiny town?

Man: Yeah.

A new University of Cincinnati investigate says one in 5 Ohio residents knows someone who is struggling with heroin. One policeman told us that adult to 80 percent of a prisoners in his county jail have drugs in their system, mostly heroin.

Bill Whitaker: What can law coercion do?

Mike DeWine: The profession general's not going solve a problem-- your inner sheriff, your inner prosecutor is not going to.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is also a former senator and congressman.

Bill Whitaker: We've been fighting a fight on drugs now for decades. If this is a biggest widespread that we have seen, this heroin epidemic, it sounds like we're not winning that war.

Mike DeWine: You know, I've been concerned in law coercion for 4 decades. And I've schooled over those years that we're not gonna detain a proceed out of this problem.

That's since Mike DeWine says he's speedy by a opposite kind of justice in Ohio.

They're drug courts and understanding usually with drug cases. There are 91 in Ohio. We went to one in Columbus that was being run during a time by Judge Scott VanDerKarr. He was doing usually heroin cases 4 times a week. The decider believes heroin mania is an illness and in his court, heroin addicts are treated some-more like patients than criminals.

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Judge VanDerKarr presides over a drug court

Judge Scott VanDerKarr and how prolonged have we been clean?

Addict: we have been purify for 84 days.

There are students in a courtroom, a teacher, a state employee, a CEO of a tech company. If they come here for adult to dual years, get drug tested and stay clean, their heroin charges are dismissed.

Bill Whitaker: You arrange of use a carrot and a stick.

Judge Scott VanDerKarr: Absolutely.

Bill Whitaker: You hang with a module or I'll put we behind in jail.

Judge Scott VanDerKarr: I'll put we behind in jail. And you're going to finish adult with a self-assurance on your record.

Under Judge VanDerKarr, 250 addicts went by a module - people who competence differently be in jail or dead.

Bill Whitaker: You get insurgency from other judges?

Judge Scott VanDerKarr: Absolutely.

Bill Whitaker: So-- what's-- what's their criticism? It's too huffy feely?

Judge Scott VanDerKarr: Yes. It's too amicable work. That's not my job. My job's to be a judge.

Mike DeWine: Drug courts work. Ah...some people demeanour during them and say, well, it's-- we know, it's-- a decider apropos a amicable worker. It's not loyal during all.

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Former addicts Robert and Caitlyn, not their genuine names

It worked for Caitlyn and Robert -- not their genuine names. They were both arrested for heroin possession and went to Judge VanDerKarr's justice after being dependant to heroin for years.

"I had no attribute with existence during all. My meditative was singular to how we could get high."

Caitlyn: It was this, like, really, like, animal instinct level, like, mania with-- with removing high.

Bill Whitaker: You had to do it?

Caitlyn: Even when we didn't wish to, like, wou-- unequivocally regulating opposite my will.

Bill Whitaker: Where'd we get a money?

Robert: Stealing, lying, cheating...using other people, ripping other people off.

Caitlyn: we had no attribute with existence during all. My meditative was singular to how we could get high.

In Judge VandDerKarr's court, they both were given a new chance.

Robert: It's a gift.

Bill Whitaker: What's a gift?

Robert: Life, a new proceed to live, we know, and try to give me a tiny bit of some preparation on since I'm behaving a proceed I'm acting, since we can't stop.

Caitlyn: They didn't provide us like criminals, we consider that was a large thing.

After they upheld pointless drug tests several times a week, went to therapy and stayed purify for some-more than a year, their drug-related rapist charges were wiped off a books. Robert started a landscaping business. Caitlyn is in pre-med and wants to be a doctor.

Caitlyn: It's leisure and if we had those charges we wouldn't be means to continue on a trail that I'm on now.

Bill Whitaker: There are a lot of law coercion folks who do see your function as criminal, and who do consider we should be in jail for what we were doing.

Caitlyn: We did mangle a law.

Robert: Yeah.

Caitlyn: But I'm articulate about branding someone a rapist for a rest of their lives. It usually doesn't work.

But it's been that proceed for years in many Ohio communities. We went to Hardin County, one hour outward of Columbus.

Jenna Morrison: we have 8 felonies on my record that we will never be means to get absolved of.

Hardin County is now experimenting with a drug court, though it didn't exist when Jenna Morrison initial started regulating heroin 7 years ago. She's been arrested during slightest 6 times.

[Bradford Bailey: Looked during this box - a aged case.]

The prosecutor in Hardin County, Bradford Bailey, says he's impressed by drug cases. He takes a harder line than Judge VanDerKarr.

Bradford Bailey: We're gonna get 'em, 'cause they don't have a ability to contend no. They don't have a ability to stop using, some of 'em. They don't.

In 2011, Jenna Morrison overdosed and roughly died. Prosecutor Bailey charged her with transgression heroin possession -- inner possession.

Jenna Morrison: we got charged with possession of heroin, since we had it in my system.

Bill Whitaker: She was charged with a transgression for that.

Bradford Bailey: That's what it is. It's a Schedule 1 drug. No one can have it in their possession underneath any circums-- not even medicinal.

Bill Whitaker: Isn't that a bit extreme?

Bradford Bailey: No. That's a law of Ohio. And it's a law of a United States of America.

Jenna Morrison is no print child for sobriety. But Judge VanDerKarr told us prosecutors have discretion, and it's surprising to assign addicts, who've overdosed, with possession since a drug is in their complement as Prosecutor Bailey did. Jenna sole a military adviser tiny numbers of pain pills and a drug that helps wean addicts from heroin, Bailey came down tough with 9 depends of transgression trafficking. When Jenna and her sister stole money and credit cards from their mom to support their heroin habits, Bailey charged them with transgression theft.

Tracy Morrison: we couldn't stop them. we filed charges on my possess daughters

At her wit's end, it was Tracy Morrison who called a police.

Tracy Morrison: It resulted in 5 transgression charges for one, 3 for a other.

Bill Whitaker: Felony charges?

Tracy Morrison: Felony charges. See we was thinking, 'cause I'm naive, that 100 bucks is sparse theft. Well, no. They got 'em for forgery and all-- all these felonies. And afterwards they were perplexing to send them to prison, and we thought, this-- we usually didn't even design that to happen.

Since she initial used heroin 7 years ago, Jenna Morrison has been charged with 23 felonies. Todd Anderson is her lawyer.

Todd Anderson: So they're holding these low-level users and addicts, charging all these felonies, and afterwards a problem is, is that they smoke-stack a sentences on 'em. And afterwards when they violate their probations, afterwards they're removing extensive jail judgment for really, being an addict.

Bill Whitaker: The county prosecutor would say, "There's usually no denying she pennyless a law."

Todd Anderson: we determine with that. But a issue's what we do with them, and what's a sentence. The sentence's gotta be fair.

When we initial met Jenna final year, she had kicked her heroin robe with a assistance of a new drug called Vivitrol, that blocks a effects of opioids in a brain. She went behind to propagandize and was handling to take caring of her children. But she was still posted on Prosecutor Bailey's website as a drug trafficker and she couldn't find a job. Her mom says she got vexed and started regulating cocaine. She recently was sealed adult again and a prosecutor charged her with 5 some-more felonies, creation a sum of 28. Eighteen have been dismissed; 10 sojourn on her record.

Bill Whitaker: You consider she's been treated fairly?

Bradford Bailey: Where has she been un-treated unfairly? Everything she's finished she's chose to do. We didn't tell her to do these things. She chose to do transgression crimes, not a state. We're not giving her a giveaway pass. We don't give anybody a giveaway pass.

Bill Whitaker: But we also know that she's dependant to heroin.

Bradford Bailey: we have a lot of people who are dependant to heroin. Most of a people that are in a drug business, a bootleg drug business, are addicted.

Prosecutor Bailey says a electorate have told him they wish drug addicts off a street, though Scott VanDerKarr says law coercion needs to commend a old, tough-on-drugs proceed isn't operative -- that addicts like Jenna need help, not punishment. He recently quiescent his judgeship to assistance other communities in Ohio set adult their possess drug courts. He meets with judges and inaugurated officials like Greg Peterson, a mayor of Dublin, Ohio.

Greg Peterson: we don't wish anybody in Dublin to have a problem and ever think, "I don't know where to turn."

But many relatives in a Columbus suburbs told us they don't know where to turn, even if they can means private health word to compensate for rehab and detox programs. Christy and Wayne Campbell's son Tyler was a star high propagandize and college football actor -- and a heroin addict. He was in and out of rehab 3 times -- brief rehabs since many word companies extent a length of in-patient treatment.

Christy Campbell: The final one that he was in -- was in there dual weeks. And a word association wanted to recover him.

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Christy and Wayne Campbell

Christy assured a word association to give Tyler dual some-more weeks.

Wayne Campbell: When he came home, there was-- there was something apparently different. we mean, he, like, he got it.

Bill Whitaker: He was articulate about a future--

Wayne Campbell: Yes, this--

Christy Campbell: Talking about a future--

Wayne Campbell: This is midnight. So we go to bed with a biggest whine of service that we could ever have. It's over. "Tomorrow's gonna be a good day."

But tomorrow never came. Tyler went adult to his bedroom, shot adult and overdosed.

At a New Beginnings rehab facility, Angie Pelfrey told us what happened to Tyler is not unusual.

Angie Pelfrey: They get to a indicate to where they're not using. They go out and wish to use maybe one some-more time-- usually one some-more hoorah. And it takes their life since they s-- they go behind to regulating a same volume that they did when they were finale a addiction.

Bill Whitaker: Their toleration goes down after dual weeks of rehab--

Angie Pelphrey: Right. Right.

Bill Whitaker: They go home, fire adult a same volume they were regulating before--

Angie Pelphrey: Of her-- yes. And it's taken their lives--

Bill Whitaker: And it's now an overdose.

Angie Pelphrey: Right.

Angie Pelfrey's trickery is a faith-based program, upheld by a church and a inner community. Addicts can stay but profitable for adult to a year. But Angie has to spin divided adult to 20 people each day. There usually aren't adequate beds.

Recorded Message: This is in regards to my son, he's a heroin addict, and he's seeking for help. He needs help, or he's gonna die. You can call me anytime. Thank we so much.

Angie Pelphrey: It's terrible to know that we have to tell a mom that you're contemptible that we can't take 'em-- meaningful that there is a good possibility they might not live 'till a subsequent day.

It's a day-to-day struggle. Angie says a contingency of staying purify after a year during New Beginnings are usually 50-50.

Bill Whitaker: What do we consider about what you're saying and experiencing?

Angie Pelphrey: My fear is that it's never ending. That's my fear.

Bill Whitaker: Never ending.

Angie Pelphrey: Never ending. I'm not saying an finish to it anywhere.

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