President Trump Mentions Hancock County In Comments About Opioid Abuse

1/16/18 – 5:18 A.M.

Local officials aren’t sure why President Trump mentioned Hancock County when he signed a law meant to combat fentanyl last week. Before he signed the bill, Trump talked about the synthetic opioid, saying “It’s reaching every corner of our great nation and it shouldn’t be. Rural areas like Hancock County, Ohio.”

Sheriff Mike Heldman tells the Courier he isn’t sure what prompted the comment. Hancock County had 19 overdose deaths in 2016. The final numbers for 2017 will likely top 20. Heldman says the problem is higher in the southern part of Ohio when you take population numbers into account.

Precia Stuby is the executive director of the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services. She doesn’t believe Trump was trying to say Hancock County has the worst problem in Ohio. She tells the Courier, “I think what he was trying to get across is that the epidemic is hitting every corner of our country, including small towns and big towns and I think that he just singled out Hancock County.”

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