The Miami County Heroin Coalition is turning its attention to long-term issues and solutions following the county’s first Hope Over Heroin event at the county fairgrounds earlier this month.

Representatives of the coalition that has been meeting most of this year said they were pleased with the response to the Hope Over Heroin activities including a walk by several hundred to the county Courthouse in memory of those lost to heroin.

Other coalition work so far has included compilation and production of a Mental Health and Addictions Treatment and Counseling Resources brochure for Miami and surrounding counties and the formation in Troy of the county’s first Quick Response Team (QRT).

The QRT pilot project includes Troy firefighter/paramedics, police and representatives of the Miami County Recovery Council who will meet with those who have overdosed and been revived with Narcan to see if they are interested in assessment and treatment/counseling. Other QRT teams are being discussed.

Among information provided at the Hope Over Heroin event was how to seek help. A City of Resources provided information on service providers and other offerings.

Those who need services are encouraged to contact either the Miami County Recovery Council or Recovery and Wellness for assessment and then access to a variety of services, said Mark McDaniel of the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services.

The Miami County Recovery Council can be reached at 937-335-4543 while the Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio can be contacted through Mental Health in Troy at 937-335-0361 or 937-548-1635 in Greenville.

In addition to the QRT pilot project, other communities will be approached about the concept, said Steven Justice, a local attorney and coalition member. The coalition has subcommittee working on the following additional efforts:

Education/Prevention

The Paul G. Duke Foundation recently announced the award of a grant to the Miami County Recovery Council to work with the heroin coalition to develop and implement a community education program.

Justice said a committee is exploring “better curricula that can be used to educate school-aged children and adults regarding the perils of heroin addiction” and resources to fight it. The coalition plans to approach schools in the county with options for consideration. The goal is to launch a pilot project in the next few months.

Justice also noted that Families of Addicts opened a Piqua chapter in June. The coalition plans to support that organization and work with it to provide information and help family members of addicts in the county, he said.

The local Families of Addicts can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 937-301-9747.

Detox facilities

The county at this time does not have any drug detoxification facilities except the county jail. “Long term, we need to develop drug detox facilities in Miami County where addicts can receive medically assisted treatment during withdrawal,” Justice said.

The Tri-County Board of Mental Health is raising money for a new one-stop shop type facility that could include medically assisted drug detox facilities, he said, but noted that project is at least a couple of years away.

Also being explored are social detox options where an addict could detox in a safe residential setting with monitoring provided, Justice said.

Medically assisted treatment during withdrawal

The county does not have any doctors licensed to prescribe suboxone treatment to addicts in withdrawal, Justice said. The coalition is working to encourage more doctors to become licensed to prescribe the treatment.

“To receive such treatment, addicts currently have to travel to another county such as Montgomery County. That distance alone can be an insurmountable barrier for some addicts,” Justice said.

Legislation

The coalition plans to work with elected officials at all levels on developing and supporting actions that would provide more treatment and counseling options for county residents.
“Sadly, the need still is growing and the current resources are not sufficient to address the epidemic,” Justice said. “The current situation is unprecedented in Miami County, and we need help.”

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