Trumbull opiate task force learns new ways to fight addiction - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trumbull opiate task force learns new ways to fight addiction

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WARREN, Ohio -

In Trumbull County, the opiate task force is meeting routinely to find the best ways to fight the drug epidemic and a new wave of funding could help. 

Members of the Ohio Attorney General's Office say the recent spike in drug overdoses in Trumbull County during the month of March caught their attention and prompted them to reach out to the ASAP Opiate Drug Task Force.

At the task force's meeting Tuesday, the AG's office detailed the latest ways counties across northern Ohio are trying to fight the drug epidemic.

Right now, Summit County has at least five quick response teams that reach out to addicts within two to three days after they've overdoses. 

"When we wrap our arms around people who are in need and share resources, they're likely more comfortable to use those resources," Alisha Nelson said, community outreach specialist with the AG'S office.

The teams are often comprised of members of law enforcement, mental health providers, peer specialists and coroners. 

Nelson says Lucas County has been using a similar program for at least the past two years and it's working. 

The city of Cuyahoga Falls has also developed a prevention program aimed at keeping students away from drugs. Nelson says the police department works with the city school district to educate students about the dangers of drug use. Area businesses teamed up with police to offer discount cards to students that they can keep if they routinely pass drug tests.

The ideas are welcome in Trumbull County after a spike of 189 drug overdoses in March, followed by 108 in April.

The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board reports at least 40 people have died from a drug overdose in the county this year.

Help in the form of funding is now on the way.

The state announced $500,000 will be awarded to the county to pay for access to treatment beyond detox.

"Now we'll be able to provide funding for people to get detox and also additional 30 days or whatever is deemed necessary by the treatment provider," Lauren Thorp said, with the mental health and recovery board.

Thorp says residential treatment and supportive housing can cost about $450 a day in most cases. 

Thorp says county leaders are working together on a plan to present to the state, outlining where they need resources most.

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