CAMBRIDGE, Ohio -- Nearly 900 community leaders gathered in Columbus on Monday to address the growing problem of opiate addiction across the Buckeye State.
Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor called on officials from all of Ohio's 88 counties to attend the Judicial Symposium on Opiate Addiction, which focused on the impact of heroin in Ohio's communities, and what can be done to halt and reverse its effects.
Common Pleas Judge David A. Ellwood led a team of legal officials from Guernsey County, including Judge John Mark Nicholson, Sheriff Mike McCauley, Prosecutor Dan Padden, Chief Probation Officer Capt. Tim Oliver, and defense counsel Andy Warhola. Also in attendance were Linda Secrest of the Alcohol & Drug Services of Guernsey County and Vickie Hare of the Mental Health & Recovery Service Board.
Judge Ellwood told AVC News that efforts are already underway to combat the problem of opiate addiction in Guernsey County:
Currently, the Common Pleas Court's C.A.R.E. Program is composed of 24 participants. More than 35 participants have graduated from the program, to date.
Data released in April by the Ohio Department of Health shows that the number of heroin deaths increased from 426 in 2011 to 680 in 2012, continuing an upward trend for the fifth consecutive year.