Jackson Co. holds first drug summit meeting of 2016

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JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – The heroin problem in Jackson County isn’t going away any time soon.

“The studies and evidence clearly show that the addiction really begins with prescription pain killers and then leads to heroin,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka.

He says to combat the problem it starts with educating the public.

“If you have unused pain killers such as Vicodin in your medicine cabinet, that instead of keeping them there, to use one of the five safe disposal sites in the county,” said Jarzynka.

Today at the first quarterly drug summit of the year with law enforcement, action plans were discussed for the year ahead.

Group chair and Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand laid out his strategy.

“What we’re doing is working on a plan, taking the information we’ve gathered and working on a plan that coordinates efforts to combat the problem of not only prescription drug use and abuse but also the issue of heroin use and abuse in our community,” Rand said.

As prosecutors work with police to stop heroin dealers and prosecute those responsible for overdoses, the problem needs a different approach.

We can do our part, but this has become such a major issue in our community that we want a community-wide approach to address this issue,” Jarzynka said.

That community approach also invites concerned citizens to join the discussion.

Sheriff Rand recognizes the reach of this problem across the country.

“We’re hoping we can develop real action plans that’ll help the community and that’ll help deal with this problem. And it’s not just a Jackson problem, it’s a nationwide problem,” Rand said.

The county prosecutor hopes that these discussions lead to action.

“It’s not just about having a drug summit talking about the problem. This is really about putting talk into action here in this year,” Jarzynka said.

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