David Pepper, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, criticized a change in state policy that delays federal dollars’ going to local and county addiction-treatment programs.
The delay, which took effect Tuesday, means a 34 percent reduction for Mahoning and Columbiana counties, and a 30 percent cut for Trumbull for a year while the nation and the state faces a “major heroin crisis,” Pepper said outside the 7th District Court of Appeals in downtown Youngstown.
The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health & Family Services Providers, which represents front-line agencies, supports the state’s action, according to The Associated Press.
With the use of heroin increasing, this is not the time to stop providing money to cover that shortfall, Pepper said.
Pepper criticized Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican and his opponent, for traveling around the state talking about the increased use of heroin at “dog and pony shows,” but is “doing nothing” to stop the problem.
During a “Drug Abuse Town Hall” in Warren in February, DeWine said there needs to be more education about the dangers of drugs, more treatment beds and longer treatment programs to help heroin addicts get clean.
DeWine also has created a heroin unit to focus on the sale and distribution of the drug.
Read the complete story in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.