The Oneida County Board has voted to join with other counties and the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to establish a controlled substance response committee.
After the death of a Lac du Flambeau man in late December, the tribe passed an action plan to address the problems of drugs and gangs in the area and reached out to Iron, Vilas and Oneida counties to work toward a joint effort. There was a recent meeting of county representatives, the tribe and law enforcement from the federal level to the local to get the effort going. A Vilas county committee recently approved joining the group and the matter will go to that county board.
Tuesday in Rhinelander, the Oneida County Board approved joining the group. County Board Chair David Hintz says a physician friend of his who practices in the Lakeland area and New York City told him he sees many more opioid users here than in the Big Apple.
Hintz says Mary Rideout of Oneida County Social Services told of the drug cases they work with...
"....fifty percent of the cases she handles are drug related in Social Services with drugs at the root or cause, fifty percent. Many of them are (methamphetamine) cases and they just don't go away, they keep going on and on. Sheriff(Grady) Hartman explained that 70-80 percent of the inmates in the county jail are meth addicts...."
The Oneida County Board joined into the committee and will work to assign board members in the future.