Groups to rally, demand action on drug scourge in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) — Heroin awareness and advocacy groups in Cincinnati plan to rally on the steps of a downtown jail to demand action after a wave of overdoses hit the region.

The rally was set for Sunday afternoon at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Cincinnati Against Heroin and Heroin Control are among several groups calling on Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) to declare a medical state of emergency to “maximize the use of resources to support local authorities” who are fighting the scourge.

The groups are also seeking funding to create more detoxification centers, sober-living houses and help with paying for treatment.

A governor’s spokeswoman says he doesn’t have specific authority under Ohio law to declare a public health emergency.

Cincinnati has seen a surge in overdoses recently, including 174 reported over six days.