State grants target opioid crisis in Mahoning and Columbiana Cou - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State grants target opioid crisis in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties

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The Ohio Department of Health has awarded the Mahoning and Columbiana County Coroner's Offices more than $15,000 in state funding.

The Mahoning County Coroner's Office received $10,806 and the Columbiana County Coroner's Office received $5,267.

The money is to help subsidize a portion of the cost of toxicology screenings that are conducted during investigations of suspected drug overdoses. 

Coroners send blood samples to a clinical laboratory for testing to identify the type and amount of drugs in a person's body to help determine the cause of death. 

"Drug overdose death data provided by county coroners to the state, helps inform Ohio's comprehensive and aggressive approach to combatting drug overdoses and saving lives," said ODH Director Lance Himes.

Himes says the funding is part of more than $1 billion that Ohio is investing each year to help communities battle drug abuse and addiction at a local level. 

Officials say the coroner's office may be eligible for additional funding in the next two years. 

The state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 contains a total of $2 million to be distributed by ODH to Ohio coroners during the next two years in proportion to the numbers of toxicology screenings performed per county.

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