Local Sheriff heads to White House to talk heroin epidemic

Local Sheriff heads to White House to talk heroin epidemic

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The heroin epidemic gripping the whole country.

Now, the White House is seeking the expertise of a local program to help stop the problem.

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp is heading to Washington, DC July 6 to meet with the National Drug Policy Director and other senior White House staff members.

Sheriff Tharp says he plans to talk about Lucas County's Drug Abuse Response Team (DART) which doesn't arrest addicts, but assists them in the recovery process.

Tharp says it's a program that will work outside of Lucas County.

Drug abuse response can work all over the United States; anywhere, anywhere in the world - is that, if you have dedicated people that will spend their lives to help others, and be men and women for others, and that's what it takes," said Tharp. "It's very passionate officers in this unit."

Since DART's inception one year and a half ago, Tharp says they've  worked with 1,700 people.

"It is my opinion that without the DART program, many of these people would have died, and I say that because they say that," said Tharp.

While Tharp says he's excited to share with the White House, he's also looking to learn.

"We certainly don't have all the answers, and there's so many things that we don't know, but it's good to be able to meet with the people who do have the answers and can share information with us that we can bring it back to our community to have a safer community," said Tharp.

While Sheriff Tharp says there has been some failure, they encourage addicts to never quit quitting, and the successes make it all worth it.

"We helped one young fella, and I'm so proud of him, he now is serving in our military," said Tharp.

Sheriff Tharp will be meeting in the Roosevelt Room, which is right next to the Oval Office.

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