TIFFIN — The Seneca County Drug Task Force – METRICH Enforcement Unit, in partnership with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services, is implementing a Quick Response Team (QR Team) in Seneca County.
The QR Team will consist of METRICH officers and a trained behavioral health worker from Firelands. They will engage and guide community overdose survivors towards recovery. In doing so, the QR Team will engage twice a week with overdose survivors in Seneca County and provide access to treatment and/or recovery support.
“Conservatively, when looking at the most recent data, we are experiencing one to two overdoses per day in Seneca County”, said Mircea Handru, the Mental Health Board’s Executive Director.
Handru also said that the “QR team is a much-needed service in our community and would have not been possible without the leadership from the Seneca County METRICH Unit. They see individuals struggling with addiction daily and understand the importance of engaging and offering them treatment and recovery alternatives.”
The QR team in Seneca County is to start its program in early August.
The Seneca County Drug Task Force – METRICH Enforcement Unit received a grant from the Ohio Department of Criminal Justice Services to purchase a vehicle for this project. This vehicle will be utilized when engaging and outreaching to individuals who recently overdosed in Seneca County.
“Public safety for our communities demands a constant review and adjustment. We realized many years ago that we cannot arrest our way out of this addiction crisis. While this may not be a traditional law enforcement service, look at how drug addiction affected Ohio communities. We hope that the QR team will improve the health and safety of Seneca County,” said METRICH Unit Coordinator Chuck Boyer.
Dr. Michelle Clinger from Firelands Counseling and Recovery said that the QR team will target clients that are high-risk for an overdose.
“We are planning an intervention within 72-hours or sooner if circumstances allow,” said Dr. Clinger.
Firelands will offer support to family members as well. Narcan education and distribution will also be part of this program.
For local resources or guidance navigating the behavioral health system, please contact the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board office at 419-448-0640.