Huron County was among 83 Ohio counties represented at the Ohio Judicial Symposium on Opiate Addiction.
Local judicial, law enforcement and treatment services representatives traveled to Columbus recently to learn about promising judicial practices and options for opiate addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment.
Huron County Common Pleas Judge James Conway organized the 10-member team from Huron County.
"Our team was pleased that the rest of the state is recognizing the severity of the heroin problem that has been a priority issue here in Huron County over the last decade," Conway said. "Hopefully the focus on opiate addiction will result in new and better means of dealing with offenders in the community, especially in light of the changes in the laws regarding trafficking in heroin which now prevent the imposition of prison sentences for many offenders."
The Huron County team discussed challenges for addressing opiate addiction, as well as potential solutions. Team members also continued to develop an action plan to ensure that offenders receive appropriate judicial clinical interventions and services.
Team members included: Conway, Nate Perani, Huron County Juvenile Court Service Coordinator/Intervention Court Coordinator, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, Huron County Public Defender David Longo, attorney James Joel Sitterly, Jean King, director of the Huron County ADAMHS board, Huron County Commissioner Thomas Dunlap, Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light, Willard Police Chief Mark Holden and Wendy Parsons, intervention specialist at Firelands Counseling Service.
Conway said the group was limited to 10 members and that many other individuals and local officials expressed a desire to continue their contributions to the effort to reduce illegal opiate use in the county.