BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Ohio leads the country in people dying from the opioid epidemic and Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson wants to do something about it.
He has plans to streamline the services in Wood County and add a drug abuse coordinator.
The official position would be titled Criminal Justice Substance Abuse Coordinator. This would be possible through help from the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.
Dobson says he wants someone who could make sure no matter what level an addict enters the criminal justice system, they get help.
"The impact is we are not just getting people in treatment, but working them through treatment," Dobson said.
This would be a four step program, based on how serious the offense is. The program would keep track of how addicts do with treatment.
"We are able to analyze it to see the successes and what is not so successful," Dobson said. "And we are able to focus on individuals who are motivated to seek treatment and to get through that process."
Dobson says it is easier to deal with someone who has been caught with drugs, as their main offense, rather than dealing with them. When they have gotten to the point, they are breaking into houses.
"You catch people earlier, and if they're committing lower level offenses, then we can focus more on rehabilitation and less on punishment, or response to the crime," said Dobson.
Dobson says he expects to hear about a gr ant to help fund this program any day now. He will present this to the Wood County Commissioners September 7.