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Marion Co. Public Health Department launching new program

Will provide substance use treatment as part of the criminal justice system
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Posted at 2:54 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 14:54:36-04

MARION COUNTY — A new program in Marion County is looking to treat substance use disorder and reduce overdoses by offering treatment options and other services.

“Stronger with Support” will work with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, the Marion County Public Defender Agency, and private legal counsel to provide treatment for people charged with minor drug-related offenses who have substance use issues.

“The criminal justice system is not equipped to properly address issues of public health. The Stronger with Support Program will allow us to divert residents struggling with substance use and addiction out of the criminal justice system to the recovery services they need to be successful,” said Prosecutor Ryan Mears in a news release.

Candidates will be referred by the Prosecutor's Office based on eligibility requirements.

“We agree that we cannot arrest our way out of a drug crisis, and this program is forward-thinking in providing alternatives. We look forward to this collaboration," said Robert Hill, Chief Public Defender for Marion County.

Funding for the program comes from a three year grant provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.