- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - A prosecutor in southwest Ohio said he’s gotten dozens of calls after putting out the word that he wants to hear from heroin addicts about their struggles.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser (MOH’-zur) says the phone has hardly stopped ringing since he announced Thursday that he wanted to hear from people about their heroin addictions. He said he wants to educate himself about the problem of the heroin epidemic in the region as he and other public officials look for ways to solve it.

Gmoser says at least 65 calls had come into a hotline set up by the office. He met with a 36-year-old woman Monday who agreed to share her story of first becoming addicted to pain pills before turning to heroin.

The woman told him her doctor discontinued her painkiller prescription so she started using street drugs, then heroin, Gmoser said. She’s now using suboxone and counseling to recover from her heroin addiction.

He said the woman has agreed to talk to elementary and high school students about her addiction.

Gmoser is scheduling a meeting with an addict every day he doesn’t have another conflict, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/1hZMCCw ). He said he’s trying to get to the root of the epidemic.

“I’m tired of listening to the experts pontificate about what the problem is without ever hearing from the problem,” he said. “I want to hear from the problem. The addicts obviously are the problem because the problem is what is causing crime.”

Butler County is just north of Cincinnati.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com