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On Thursday night we aired an hour-long documentary on the growing heroin epidemic in Northeast Ohio.

"Heroin: Old Drug, New Killer Epidemic" has gotten quite a response from viewers and educators across the region. We produced the special program, hoping to open eyes across the region that heroin is a huge problem and no community, no school, no neighborhood is immune.

We plan to air the program a second time. Stay tuned for details on the date and time.

We hope those who watched are now more aware of the problem, what's causing it and what we all need to do to stop the spread of this insidious drug that destroys lives and tears families apart.

As I sat and watched a preview of the program with some of the people who shared their stories in the program, I was touched by their courage and their determination to fight back against this epidemic.

I watched Rob and Carla Brandt wipe tears from their eyes as they watched themselves on the screen talking about how they lost their son Robby to a heroin overdose.

I silently cheered for Nichole, who sat next to me at the viewing. The mother of four put down the needle years ago and is now working to help others fight their addictions. She told me most people in her community don't know she had a heroin problem, but that didn't stop her from telling her story for all to hear.

I reached out to educators across the region a few days ago, encouraging them and their staffs to watch the documentary.

I also told them Channel 3 is producing a 15-minute version of the program for use in all schools.I've already heard back from close to 100 superintendents, principals and teachers, all requesting a copy of the school DVD.

Monica Robins has received more emails than she can answer in support of the program and the light she is shining on this epidemic. When we hear from so many people, we know we did something right in taking a stand and telling a story some people don't want to hear.

But addiction ison everyone's street, in everyone's backyard, and it's a story that needed to be told in the hopes it doesn't become the story of someone you love. We're not done with our Heroin Project just yet.

Stay tuned for more news reports from Monica and for more updates here on our website. And ifyou're an educator, email me at advocacy@wkyc.com for a copy of the school version of the program and we'll mail it to you.

In the documentary, Monica said "it takes a village" and she's right ... it will take all of us working together to make a difference. We hope you'll join us in the fight.

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