Father fighting on front lines of opioid crisis happy federal funding is coming to Ohio

Scott Weidle has been fighting on the front lines of the opioid crisis since losing his son, Daniel. (Photo courtesy Scott Weidle)

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that Ohio would receive more than $71 million to help fight the opioid epidemic.

The grants are designed to support HHS's five-point plan to battle the epidemic.

Those points are: Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services; better data; better pain management; better targeting of overdose reversing drugs and better research.

One Miami Valley man knows first hand the pain the opioid epidemic is causing.

Scott Weidle spends most of his evening's in a park he built outside of Germantown, dedicated to his son's memory.

It's called Daniel's Peace, where Daniel weidle went to escape the struggles of the world and where his father goes now to do the same.

"I started this after I lost my son December 26th, 2016 from the opioid epidemic," said Scott Weidle. "I don't know what the next step for me is. I'll never recover from this loss. I come out here and spend my evenings making the park better and whenever i get the chance, I'll advocate and help families understand why addiction is a medical disease."

Daniel struggled with addiction for the last eight years of his life. He reached out for help, going to rehab and taking a drug called Vivatrol.

"There was a significant difference," he said. "It was Daniel's best year for his past five when he was able to get on Vivatrol. It blocks the effects of opioids."

Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Ohio would receive $55 million dollars to help make drugs like Vivatrol more accessible across the state.

Scott Weidle said more money for treatment is a good thing but also wants to see more resources sent to solving what he believes is the source of addiction.

"It starts with medical opioids and is turned into the opioid story and until we attack it from the other end, we're going to be chasing this beast for many years to come."

The Trump Administration is also giving $200 million in grants to states to research the opioid epidemic.

That research will be used to help find ways to prevent deaths and find new ways to respond to addiction.

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