Opiate use has been called a national epidemic, and deaths attributed opiates has been reported on the rise.   But that’s not the case in Northwest Ohio.   Les McCaslin, executive director at the Four County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addication, and Mental Health Services reports opiate deaths spiked in this area in 2016 when 27 people died.  That number dropped to 11 last year, and 3 have been reported this year in the four county area.   McCaslin says suicide deaths have shown a different trend.  There were 21 suicides in 2016, and that number jumped to 27 last year.   Another 22 persons have taken their life this year.                   The state of Ohio has provided about $18,500 to the Adams Board in suicide prevention; while $585,000 has been awarded in a grant to fight opiate addiction.               The Four County Adams Board has focused their efforts in funding toward mental wellness promotion, working on a nutrition curriculum in local elementary schools.

          The board also got an update on the regional CASA program, which has provided advocates for 106 children in court.   They have 25 community volunteers that have been trained as advocates.

Contracts of $7,500 each were also approved for DARE programs in Henry, Defiance, and Williams Counties, along with another substance abuse awareness program in Fulton County.