PAINESVILLE -- There have been at least 59 overdoses from heroin in the last two years in Lake and Geauga counties.
All programs and facilities have a long waiting period for abusers needing treatment to get in.
And that is prompting questions about the best use of one vacant county building.
The old minimum security jail was built for drunk drivers and low-level offenders.
It now sits idle, capable of housing residents.
Mentor Municpal Court Judge John Trebets presides over a drug court.
He believes any option for more treatment spaces should be explored.
THe Lake County Sheriff operates a successful treatment program in the jail. But expanding it would take additional manpower.
The jail facility closed because the county lacked money to staff it.
There's another problem.
An old federal regulation sets a limit of 16 residents for facilities billing Medicaid to treat drug and alcohol patients. That was to prevent warehousing of mental health patients.
The county is doing a study of ways to better use all its buildings.
Some hope that a treatment center in the vacant jail gets a serious look.