The Highland County Tea Party hosted a meeting on June 20 to hear about a new approach in dealing with the growing illegal drug problem here in Highland County.

Daniel Meloy, director of public safety for Colerain Township in Hamilton County, presented a program and challenged us to consider its implementation.

The program here would be a copy of the Colerain Township’s Quick Response Team’s approach to helping drug addicts.

A response team would consist of three volunteers from our law enforcement agencies, fire department, health care professionals, social workers, counselors and others.

The response team would visit face-to-face with every person who had overdosed on illegal drugs. This visit would take place the day after a person was treated. The purpose of the visit is not for a scolding or to reprimand, but to encourage the person to get help. And, to let them know that someone cares about them and wants to help them in a positive way.

People need to know that we do care and want to help them in their battle with drugs.

Meloy presented several examples and explained how this approach has had a tremendous success rate approaching 80 percent. This of course means followup and getting addicts involved with a quality counseling service.

I am convinced that this program would be a wonderful addition to our commitment to help those who are battling drug addiction.

We had a large attendance with several community leaders who are obviously concerned about the growing drug abuse problem here in our community. So, the question is, do we have the courage and do we care enough to put in place a program that has a proven track record?

Meloy said that he would help and guide us every step of the way. The Highland County Tea Party is committed to help in any way possible in our battle against the drug epidemic here in our beloved county.