Saturday, October 21, 2017 Medina 63°
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Local Medina County News

Sheriff's office, nonprofit hope to form opiate response team

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MEDINA — The Medina County Sheriff’s Office hopes to work with nonprofit Alternative Paths Inc. to form a county opiate response team.

The team would consist of a part-time commissioned officer from the sheriff’s office working eight hours per week and a full-time chemical dependency clinician employed by Alternative Paths, a Medina-based outpatient health care agency that opened in 1989.

The two agencies have submitted a Law Enforcement Diversion Program grant application through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. If obtained, the grant would not exceed $171,782 for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bev Fraser said Tuesday that officials hope to find out if they received the award by Aug. 31. If it’s awarded, the team would begin in September and its program would be functional within 45 days.

Gail Houk, director of forensic services for Alternative Paths, would oversee the program, Fraser said.

The team would help people get set up for treatment, she said.

The clinician would manage referrals, which could come from:

  • any county law enforcement agency;
  • Medina County Drug Task Force;
  • Medina County Job and Family Services;
  • hospitals;
  • family members of opiate-addicted individuals.

The clinician and officer would meet with referred clients to offer treatment options and work on expedited treatment.

The clients would be given information on local medical and social services resources, as well as chemical dependency treatment providers, and assisted with health coverage including Medicaid.

The opiate response team also would work with area hospitals to intervene after an overdose occurs.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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