WILMINGTON — U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) hosted the third in his congressional district series of roundtable discussions on how to fight the addiction crisis.
Stivers held the roundtable at the Wilmington Municipal Building and the discussion featured leaders from various fields, including law enforcement, healthcare professionals, medical experts, and community partners.
Participants at the Clinton County roundtable discussed the need for expanded treatment and rehabilitation options, more support for housing, as well as increased support for transportation.
“Those closest to the source are best able to help, and it takes comprehensive approaches in order to conquer an issue, especially one as broad as the opioid and addiction epidemic,” said Stivers.
“I’m grateful to receive feedback and advice from such a qualified group of professionals from various field areas touched by the opioid epidemic,” the congressman said. “They shared what they are experiencing right in our region, and we discussed how, together, we can make a difference.
“I will take these ideas back to Washington because this is not just an Ohio problem,” added Stivers. “The ideas we spark here will not only help save lives now, but they will help ensure that this is not an issue that future generations are faced with.”
According to a media release from Stivers’ office, opioid overdoses killed 3,287 people in Ohio alone in 2018, down from 4,293 deaths in 2017. That is reason to be optimistic, but as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the number of opioid-related deaths has gone up.
Participants in the socially distanced roundtable discussed solutions on preventative measures, treatment, rehabilitation, housing and employment for those battling addiction.
Among the participants were Stivers, Lee Sandlin with Sugartree Ministries, Michael Snarr with Wilmington College and Wilmington City Council, Brian Prickett with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth, Eric Guindon with the Clinton County Youth Council, Chief Adult Probation Officer Duane Weyand, Wilmington Chief of Police Ron Cravens, Wilmington Fire Chief Andy Mason, Wilmington City Council member Nick Eveland, Clinton County Juvenile Court Judge Chad Carey, Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry Steed, Kathy Collins with the Clinton County Housing Authority, Nicole Rodman with Clinton County Job and Family Services, and Denise Stryker with the Clinton County Homeless Shelter.