$1.3 million is headed to 30 law enforcement agencies across Ohio to fight the opioid epidemic

Updated: Oct. 30, 2019 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - First responders on the frontline of the opioid epidemic now have more resources to get people the help they need.

$1.3 million is headed to 30 law enforcement agencies across Ohio to fight opioids.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost just expanded the Drug Abuse Response Team Grant Program.

It reimburses the rising costs local law enforcement face as they continue to fight opioid addiction.

19 News is taking a look at how those dollars are being put to use.

Many local agencies call them Quick Response Teams or QRT.

Police and sheriff's offices team up with firefighters and medical professionals to respond to opioid overdoses, going beyond the initial call for help.

These QRT teams connect survivors to treatment and recovery.

The goal is to rehabilitate addicts, reduce repeat drug overdoses and deaths.

A new map from the Attorney General shows exactly where the money is going.

19 News found 16 agencies in Northeast Ohio have received nearly $1.5 million in funding from the program since 2017.

Parma Police Department.
Parma Police Department.(WOIO)

We checked in with Parma Police to see how their Quick Response Team is working.

On average, there's a drug overdose in Parma every 50 hours and a majority of those are opioid overdoses.

In 2017 and 2018, there were 349 overdoses in Parma.

Thirty-nine of those were repeat overdoses, and 32 people died.

Narcan was used 80% of the time.

19 News found the Parma Quick Response Team includes a social worker, a firefighter and a police officer.

They visit overdose patients at home, check in with family members and provide them Narcan.

The Parma QRT received more than $137,000 in grants from the attorney general over the last few years.

They also get help from a federal grant through MetroHealth.

The team follows up with overdose victims a week later or six months later, and the police station is also a safe zone for people seeking help with drug addiction.

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