Making the Case for Medication to Fight Opioid Addiction
By Anne Yeager | March 9, 2018
As the opioid crisis spins out of control in Ohio, local courts and mental health agencies came together at the State Library of Ohio to train criminal justice professionals on how to safely incorporate medication assisted treatment in drug courts.
The Medication Assisted Treatment Symposium provided training on the nature, application, efficacy, and implementation of MAT.
The event brought together local judges, probation officers, community stakeholders, and local specialized docket staff to discuss medication assisted treatment as an essential intervention for people addicted to prescription opiates or heroin.
"When we have a person that comes in front of us, we are looking at not just the charge and why they are in front of us, but their story," said Franklin County Municipal Judge Jodi Thomas
These partners, including the Ohio Supreme Court's Office of Court Services Specialized Docket Section and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, are taking a fresh approach on how to help those addicted, who in the past, were responsible for their own wellness.
"So they were going to treatment, they were meeting with their probation officer," said Paige Allen, the Franklin County Municipal Court Specialized Docket Manager. "They may have underlying mental health issues and they might have to go someplace else for that. All these burdens to meet these requirements for their well-being."
The goal is also to reduce the stigma of mental health illness across the state and give offenders a sense of hope.
Similar symposiums will be held all around the state through April.