Columbus, OH (June 10, 2019) – Today at Ohio’s 2019 Opiate and Other Drug Conference: Promoting Solutions for Addiction Throughout Ohio, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities presented the CARES awards to six outstanding first responders and frontline workers. Clermont County Sheriff Robert S. (Steve) Leahy was presented with a CARES award.
Sheriff Leahy was nominated for this CARES Award by Karen Scherra, the Executive Director of the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board. A total of five individuals serving in Clermont County were nominated for awards by members of the Clermont County Opiate Task Force.
According to the nomination, Sheriff Leahy has been an incredibly strong supporter of the behavioral health system, assuring that inmates in the county jail are assessed and linked to treatment upon release. Thanks to Sheriff Leahy, Clermont County was one of the first counties in the state to have Deputies carry naloxone. He has supported the Community Alternative Sentencing Center (CASC), housed in a section of the jail, that provides treatment, including MAT, to individuals who agree to participate. He has also worked with the community to implement a Quick Response Team in Clermont County. For Sheriff Leahy, this issue is also personal. He has family experience with addiction and instead of hiding that experience, he has used it to fight stigma and to illustrate that addiction can happen to anyone.
The three Clermont County Commissioners, Claire Corcoran, Ed Humphrey, and Dave Painter, and several members of the Clermont County Opiate Task Force who were at the conference attended the luncheon at which the award recipients were recognized.
The CARES Awards were presented to first responders and front-line workers who have gone above and beyond in helping individuals, families and their community to deal with the adverse effects of Ohio’s opiate epidemic. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director Lori Criss, RecoveryOhio Director Alisha Nelson, OACBHA President Elaine Georgas, and OACBHA CEO Cheri L. Walter presented the awards.
With a registered attendance of more than 1,200 individuals, Ohio’s 2019 Opiate and Other Drug Conference: Promoting Solutions to Addiction Throughout Ohio is one of the premier events in Ohio addressing issues related to opiates and other drugs.