Sheriff calls detox center inside Butler County Care Facility 'a bad idea'

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones stresses safety in his opposition of a detox center for heroin addicts to be part of the Butler County Care Facility.

He said Friday that treating heroin addicts at the facility, located on Princeton Road, was a "100 percent bad idea," because it would pose a safety risk to the facility's residents, their visitors and staff.

“They (the residents) deserve to have as much peace of mind and the best care possible as they live out their lives. They don’t have any choice or say in this matter," Jones said. "I think it is just a bad mix of two totally different groups of people.”

He fears that while under the same roof as Care Facility residents, the heroin addicts might become desperate and violent as they undergo the detox process, according to Jones.

"Heroin ‘owns’ the addict," Jones said. "It may be true that they are not violent during the ‘detox state,’ but that is typically a very short period of time."

Jones feels that people who need help getting clean from heroin addiction should receive treatment in medical facility.

"I don’t think there could be enough security put in place at that facility to handle it,” he said.

Melissa, who withheld her last name, has been a resident at the Care Facility for about a year. She's been off heroin since 2006. She is in favor of the detox center, and would be comfortable if heroin addicts were treated in the same building as where she stays.

"I think people need help anyway they can get it," Melissa said. "I think it's a good idea."

Chuck Demidovich works at the Care Facility. Some of his nurses disagree with Jones, and the sheriff's remarks angered one of them.

"It's just that my staff has been dealing with some of these people through the medical model and do not see the same things he (Jones) sees throughout the criminal model," he said.

The county has pushed the plan for about six months, but nothing was set in stone Friday night. If the county commissioners decide to move forward, a new security measure will be put in place.

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