Troy police increasing charges for those who overdose

The contents of a Narcan Kit which first responders are given to use on overdose patients. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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The contents of a Narcan Kit which first responders are given to use on overdose patients. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Police in Troy have put “a little bit more teeth” in citations for some of those who overdose on drugs.

MORE: Miami County 2017 overdose deaths surpass last year’s total

Police administrators along with the Miami County Municipal Court Prosecutor’s Office agreed in August to begin citing those who overdose but do not have additional evidence such as drugs or paraphernalia with them with a first-degree misdemeanor of inducing panic. Those people previously would have faced a disorderly conduct charge, which most of the time would be a minor misdemeanor, police Capt. Joe Long said.

Cases that have more evidence associated with them can be pursued through the grand jury as a felony charge, Long said.

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Officers received a memo outlining the change in late August. Long said he was uncertain how many charges had been filed under the new policy.

The change was made after he was approached by Lenee Brosh, a prosecutor in the county Municipal Court, and follows similar changes seen in some other Ohio communities, Long said. Brosh was not immediately available for comment.

“It has a little bit more teeth. It gives us, the courts, a little more latitude in what we can do with people as far as penalties,” Long said of the change.

The change followed an increase in the numbers of overdoses and in overdose deaths in the county during the first part of this year. The number of overdoses “has calmed down” since July, Long said.

Miami County recorded 25 overdose deaths in the first six months of 2017 compared to 20 for the year 2016, according to statistics from the county coroner’s office. The number of deaths also dropped off in July and August, Coroner William Ginn said.

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