New grant targets heroin scourge

Thursday morning Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple presented the Board of County Commissioners an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) subsidy grant agreement for Smart Ohio Pilot Funding.

Smart Ohio Pilot Funding is a grant for $375,000 establishing an opiate addiction, medically assisted treatment program. The grant will be paid in five equal installments, two installments of $75,000 coming before June 30, 2014 and three payments of $75,000 coming in the fiscal year of 2015.

According to Pepple, the sheriff, prosecutor, public defender, Joint Township Hospital, Coleman Resources and himself have worked together to put this program in action. It is very similar to programs that are just now being funded and underway in Mercer, Hardin and Allen Counties.

“This is a test to see if this kind of a program can be affective in reducing opiate driven crime because addicts steal and break in to places and do things like that in order to get money to buy their drugs,” Pepple said. “They also traffic drugs in order to buy their drugs, so if we can help them overcome addiction the goal is that it reduces the actual level of crime and it reduces the number of actual people we have to send to prison.”

For the full story, see the Friday, Feb. 14 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.