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County Judges-Executive Explore Regional Heroin Treatment in Jails

The Judges-Executive in Campbell, Kenton, and Boone Counties are exploring options of a regional approach to treating heroin addicts in the jail system.

Campbell Co. is already moving forward on including a treatment facility near its expanded jail in Newport, and Kenton County is looking at the possibility of putting a facility of its own near the jail in South Covington.

Judges-Executive Steve Pendery of Campbell County, Steve Arlinghaus of Kenton County, and Gary Moore of Boone County, spoke to cn|2 about their efforts.

"Let's face it, it's a whole lot cheaper to treat them for these problems they're dealing with outside a general jail facility as opposed to in the jail as inmate, so we need to look at all the different ways in which we can accomplish this and stay within the parameters that are given to us by the jail and the requirements thay they have to follow," Arlinghaus told cn|2.

"In the beginning the program will be small, it appears to us now," Pendery said. "You have to select a target audience that you can get a program off the ground with and have successes and follow them for a long period of time. You don't just walk in and administer a pill or a shot and they're just all done and cured. It takes months, if not years of treatment and follow-up to effect the result that we're looking for."

Pendery said the county could be paid to house state prisoners in the treatment facility to offset some of the costs.

A regional approach in Northern Kentucky could mean each county jail plays a different role. "I would like to where Boone County fits, but we all three don't need to do the same thing," Moore said. "We can work off each other's stregths."

See the full 5-minute video report here: cn|2

Photo: Heroin needles found in Covington/RCN file