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Local leaders hope President Trump will address fight against opioid addiction in Cincinnati

Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 06:55:57-05

CINCINNATI -- Last October, President Donald Trump declared, "It's time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction."

Trump declared the opioid crisis a "public health emergency" that day. With the president visiting the Tri-State again Monday, many here are hoping he'll discuss that topic again. Local leaders like Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram say the fight against opioid addiction takes money.

"We really need for the president to follow up with a clear plan ensuring adequate resources," Ingram said. 

Every day, Ingram gets the latest numbers on hotspots for drug overdoses and ER visits countywide. The information demonstrates a complex problem.

"We got to look at, of course, supply control," he said. "We got to have strong educational messaging in our schools. And we got to do harm reduction."

Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehause said treatment is also important.

"If we could get these folks into longterm treatment, that would go a long way in trying to relieve the strain," she said. 

One idea is to take unused space at the Hamilton County jail and turn it into space for treatment beds. The county is asking the state for $2.5 million to repurpose the space. It would acommodate about 100 beds. 

With the president in town, local leaders are hoping to see federal support. 

"We need more resources, because the epidemic is huge and we're losing people in this community," Driehaus said. 

The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition will announce an update on the state of the heroin crisis Tuesday. They'll discuss what was done in 2017 and their plans for this year.