Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp speaks at national heroin summit

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp speaks at national heroin summit

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp recently returned from a national summit to share how the department's DART unit helps keep heroin addicted individuals in treatment and out of jail.

The summit included law enforcement officials, prosecutors and treatment experts across the country to share ideas on fighting the heroin epidemic.

While a first time arrest can have lifelong consequences for an addict, DART is setting a new trend.

Some police departments wait up to 48 hours after someone has overdosed to follow up, and that gives them time to go right back to their dealer.

"But if we can interface with them immediately, it's a better chance we can get them into detox," Sheriff Tharp said.

That's where local partners in treatment like the Zepf Center comes into play.

"There's a much better partnership today than there ever has been as a result of the work of the Sheriff, and the DART Team," said Norine Wasielewski of the Zepf Center. "It may take one time, 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, 28 times, through detox management to get them there."

The DART team will soon speak at the National Legislative Summit in New York City in two weeks.

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