Butler Co. agencies want $3.5M to fight heroin

Posted at 11:18 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 05:55:46-04

HAMILTON, Ohio – Butler County officials seem to agree that the county needs more money to fight the growing heroin epidemic, but they don't  agree on where to get it.

The county's Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services board says $3.5 million per year is needed to provide drug treatment services.

"We have clients coming in from all ranges, all ages, all income categories that are truly being affected by the epidemic," said Laura Sheehan of Community Behavioral Services

In 2015, the Butler County coroner's office reported 189 drug overdose deaths. Addiction specialists say many of those lives could be saved with the proper drug treatment resources.

Health experts say the community would end up spending the money one way or another on treatment or incarceration.

Funding options include the state and federal governments or revisions to a county levy that could cost taxpayers. A levy is possible only if county commissioners approve to have it placed on the ballot.

Commissioners aren't ready to support a levy, according to our news partner, the Journal-News.

READ more in the Journal-News.

SEE WCPO's complete coverage: Heroin in the Tri-State

FIND help for heroin addicts and their families.