TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the state is awarding an additional $150,000 to Lucas County in the fight against heroin.
“I think this is very exciting. We have a heroin epidemic across the state of Ohio. What Lucas County is doing with the Sheriff and the Commissioners are doing here with our assistance is different. It's a different model,” said Attorney General DeWine.
The funds will go toward expanding the Lucas County Drug Abuse Response Team, adding two more deputy officers to the unit.
It's part of a pilot program in Lucas County, which utilizes partnerships and resources throughout the area to help those suffering from heroin addiction and one of the go-to places after treatment is the Zepf Center.
“They have this support that's residential, they can stay here...it's not treatment, but it's what comes after treatment and that is the support that these individuals need,” said Attorney General DeWine.
That's something Lucas County Commissioners say is critical for facing the issue head-on.
“If we can help people fight the addiction from the beginning, we believe that at the end of the day, we're going to have a safer community and that citizen will get help and the community will be better off as a whole,” said Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak.
With Lucas County being a pilot program for other counties across Ohio she says the funds will help the effectiveness of the project.
“This pilot really is going to be instrumental in helping the whole state, but what we're interested in here right today is helping people recover from addiction and get back on their feet,” said Commissioner Skeldon Wozniak.
Part of the money will also go toward paying for a researcher at the University of Toledo who will track just how successful the pilot program is, so that organizers can look at expanding it throughout the state.
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