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In heroin fight, Middletown ‘heading in right direction.’ Here’s what residents did to make one leader say that.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

2017 costs exceed $2.3 million as overdoses nearly double.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Admitting the heroin epidemic that has impacted Middletown is “horrible,” City Manager Doug Adkins said dealing with it has shown another side of the city and its residents.

In the past two years, Adkins said he has seen neighborhoods, churches and non-profit agencies “rallying” to improve the community.

“We are heading in the right direction,” Adkins said at the 13th Heroin Summit held Monday morning at Atrium Medical Center. “This is the most active we have ever been.”

MORE: Heroin overdoses are down in Middletown

When faced with the epidemic that cost the city more than $2 million last year, Adkins said he challenged people. Some of the conversations were combative, he said.

“I had to get them angry enough to get their heads out of the ground,” he said.

Adkins said the number of heroin overdoses are falling in the city, thanks to improvements made by those who have attended the Heroin Summits.

ExploreMORE: Middletown council member: Can we stop responding to overdoses?

Adkins said other city leaders have commented and asked how the city got ahead of the drug crisis.

“We are Middletown,” Adkins told those in the room. “We lead. We don’t follow.”