Scioto included in START

By Frank Lewis -

When a report came out of the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine concerning the formation of the START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) program to serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in southern Ohio, Scioto County was conspicuous by its absence from the list of participating counties. That has changed.

Scioto County is one of four new participating counties, also including Adams, Brown and Lawrence, that will bring the number of counties to 18

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that a pilot program to serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in southern Ohio will expand to serve residents in four additional counties.

The program will provide specialized victim services to children who have been abused or neglected due to parental drug use. It will also provide drug treatment for parents of children referred to the program. Scioto County, as well as the others, will receive grant funds to bring Ohio START to their communities.

“I’m very glad Adams, Brown, Lawrence, and Scioto counties have joined this project,” DeWine said. “The goal of this program is to stabilize families harmed by parental drug use so that both kids and parents can recover and move forward with abuse-free and addiction-free lives.”

Because more counties are now participating in Ohio START, DeWine allotted an additional $1 million in Victim of Crime Act grants to the program. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio, which is administering the grants on behalf of each county, will now receive a total of $4,595,250 to launch the southern Ohio pilot program across all 18 counties.

The other counties involved in the southern Ohio pilot program are: Athens, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Hocking, Ross, and Vinton.

“I am very pleased to hear that Scioto County was chosen by the Attorney General Dewine’s office to participate in this very important pilot program,” Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said. “The employees at Scioto County Children Services work hard to provide care for many of our area’s neglected children. Many of these children are abused and living in poverty due to the opioid epidemic sweeping our nation. The need is acute and hopefully, with these funds, we can better serve the children who are often the forgotten victims of this epidemic.”

If shown to be successful, Ohio START could expand to more counties in other regions of the state.

More information on Ohio START can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.