Butler County politicians stepping up to support anti-heroin campaign

Two Butler County politicians have agreed to help pay for an anti-heroin campaign aimed at youth out of their own pockets, and their contributions could be matched by two others.

Charlie Niles, of West Chester Twp., asked the Butler County Commission Monday for $2,500 to buy 3,000 water bottles with the anti-heroin message, “Heroin kills you,” on them that could be passed out to local Little League players on opening day in two weeks.

Niles, whose son died of a heroin overdose, said he already has 800 water bottles and bracelets that he picked up from the prosecutor's office. He said he also plans to approach officials in Hamilton and Warren counties for assistance.

“I want to get those kids and print upon their minds just to say ‘no’ to this heroin, that it’s bad stuff, and they don’t really need it,” Niles told the three-member board. “If we can print that on their minds we would, well, Ben Franklin said it a few years ago, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Commissioner Don Dixon told Niles he would personally pay one-fourth of the cost — $625 — and challenged Sheriff Richard K. Jones, State Sen. Bill Coley and Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller to match his donation.

“I’ll take a fourth of it personally, Sheriff Jones will take a fourth of it personally, get the senator to take a fourth of it personally, and get Pat Moeller, who said he’s all for it, get his fourth, and you’re good to go,” Dixon said.

Jones said he would contribute and use funds he has on hand that are specifically targeted for drug addiction education.

“It just brings to the attention that we’re losing this battle; we’re not winning” the sheriff said. “If we can save one youth, and if it’s with a small thing like water bottles or just a little more education, just to get these kids to never try it, it’s well worth the money for that.”

Moeller said he fully supports Niles’ cause but needs to “know a little bit more” about the issue before he can say whether he’ll open his own wallet.

“I appreciate Commissioner Dixon making the challenge because it needs to be done,” Moeller said. “We’re going to find some way to do it.”

Coley could not be reached for comment.

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