Drug Fight

SUBSTANCE ABUSE is a major problem plaguing the Ohio Valley these days.

The Belmont County Court of Common Pleas has just received an assist in dealing with the issue.

The court was awarded a grant of $250,000 from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections for the purpose of substance abuse treatment for the period of March 2014-June 2016.

Kudos to Chief Probation Officer Ed Gorence and Common Pleas Judges John M. Solovan II and Frank Fregiato in making the funding to become a reality.

They provided research and statistics on county programs. The Belmont County court was just one of 29 county programs to receive the grant. It will serve a useful purpose in the battle to quell local substance abuse.

The grant is part of the Smart Ohio pilot funding project to address the opiate crisis in the state. The funds will go toward treatments such as drug court along with the expansion of other programs.

The beauty of the grant is that money is made available to any defendant through common pleas court, whether they’re drug court or not. The drug treatment includes in-patient and out-patient cases, depending on individual needs.

The Belmont County has seen a spike in drug activity. Thus, the state grant will be used to expand all of the available existing treatments.

If just one person is freed from the ugly tentacles of drug dependency, then the program would be deemed a success. We do expect, however, a greater number of success stories.

We commend Gorence and Judges Solovan and Fregiato for their determination, vision and passion to clean up an out-of-control drug abuse problem.

Their efforts to secure grant funding is a great shot-in-the-arm.