Cuyahoga County Unveils a New Court Docket to Help Opiate-Addicted Defendants

May 16, 2017

Judge Dave Matia, who will oversee the new court docket, says that opioid addiction needs to be treated as a disease, like hypertension and diabetes.
Credit ShutterShock / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court is introducing its second drug court docket to provide resources to 45 additional opioid-addicted residents per year.

The docket was funded by a three-year grant and will provide supervised alternative sentencing to aid in the recovery of drug offenders.

The court will have its first session this Thursday.

Judge Dave Matia, who will oversee the court, says it is a step in the right direction but more work needs to be done.


“Do I expect to put a stop to the death rate or significantly impact it? There are estimates that we have 20,000 heroin-dependent people and another 70,000 that are abusing pills. Just doing the math, 45 is not going to have a big impact.”

Matia says that addiction needs to be treated as a disease like hypertension or diabetes, without any stigmas.