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Government & Politics

State Lawmaker Pushes for Harsher Penalties for Parolees who Fail Drug Tests

photo of Niraj Antani

An Ohio lawmaker wants the state to take tougher action when a person on parole fails a random drug test. The proposal is meant to act as an intervention for addicts.

Under the proposed House bill, a person on parole or under community control would automatically go back to jail if they test positive for heroin, fentanyl or carfentanil.

The bill would also allow the option for treatment rather than jail time.

Republican Rep. Niraj Antani, the bill’s sponsor, wants to create more access to treatment facilities and says jails should not be used as detox centers.

“But until that time, jail is simply the best place for someone to detox and to be safely placed if they are (using) heroin and fentanyl -- until we can figure out something else for them," Antani said.

Antani says  jail can cut the person off from drugs before the possibility of a deadly overdose.