Belmont County

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Barnesville plays host to drug use and gang violence seminar

Updated: Thursday, March 20 2014, 01:02 PM EDT

wtov9.com
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio – Drug use and gang violence was at the forefront of a seminar in Barnesville on Thursday morning.
It was collaboration between state agencies, local law enforcement and city and village leaders as the first step in the prevention of drugs, crime and violence -- serious issues that trickle down to small Ohio towns.
It’s something they’re certainly not ignoring in Belmont County.
State representative Jack Cera kicked off the seminar, which was hosted by the Village of Barnesville, by addressing cuts in government funding for smaller communities.
“A lot of times the funding that’s available by the state gets gobbled up by bigger entities,” he said. “And our smaller counties have a more difficult time accessing some of that funding.”
Cera noted a great need for more money to be put toward rehabilitation and getting people the treatment they need for substance abuse.
“Methamphetamine has always been a huge issue for rural Ohio,” Cera said.
BCI meth unit special agent supervisor Scott Duff also gave an overview presentation on how meth gets into our communities and the different ways it's manufactured.
He broke down some astonishing statistics -- 400 meth lab seizures in the state just this year. Last year? 900 plus.
They’re typically making meth to use meth,” Duff said. “They’re feeding that addiction. They’re not necessarily in it to sell it.”
He showed training videos of just how easily methamphetamine labs can explode, and how the resulting fires can easily spread.
“And inside that bottle you’ve got some things that will rupture, some things that will catch fire,” he said.
Overall, the seminar marked another step toward awareness and prevention of these kinds of crimes that are happening right here in the Ohio valley.

Barnesville plays host to drug use and gang violence seminar


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