Mary Alice Reporting:

(Friday, May 11th) New Philadelphia, Ohio – A United States Senator took a moment to highlight the importance and work that drug courts are doing to support struggling Americans with addiction.

May is National Drug Court month and in Tuscarawas County, there are two drug courts.  New Philadelphia’s Municipal Recovery Court is spearheaded by Judge Nanette VonAllman.

Senator Sherrod Brown explains that out of the Common Pleas Court is COBRA (Changing Offenders Behavior through Rehabilitation and Accountability), which is run by Judge Elizabeth Thomakos.

He notes that the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act, would bring two focuses together.

“The Government spends money on drug treatment and job retraining, why not put them together so that people while they get clean they are ready to go to work because they will have that job training.”

Brown points out that these specific programs need to be expanded to help with treatment and community collaborations.

“Employers can’t fill openings cause workers can’t pass drug tests and Ohioans struggling with addiction, even those who have completed successful programs, can’t find a job. I hear the same things from mayors in New Philadelphia, Middletown, and Chillicothe.”

Brown notes that he has met with Ohio law enforcement who are shouldering a burden and need more resources to fight the drug epidemic.

Brown is joining Ohio US Senator Rob Portman, among others, to back the POWER Act, in order to get local and state law enforcement agencies tools needed to screen for dangerous opioids like fentanyl.


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