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Moses makes an impact on Washington, D.C.

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LOGAN, February 9, 2018 | comments
“The opioid epidemic is taking its toll in communities across the country,” stated Stivers. “Judge Moses has been an instrumental partner in fighting the opioid epidemic in Southeast Ohio, establishing one of the most successful and innovative drug courts in the state. The key to the success of his court is not just the type of medication people are given for treatment; it is the wrap-around treatment that comprehensively helps them deal with their addiction.”
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LOGAN — There are two types of people in this world — doers and watchers.

The doers step up to the plate and find a way to get the job done, while the watchers think of themselves as doers, but don’t have the time to actually “do” what needs to be done.

Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses is by all means a “doer” — while the county is in the middle of a huge drug epidemic, Moses steps up to educate everyone on the subject and goes after every dime and penny he can in order to help the county fight the war against drugs.

 

Recently, he had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. with Congressman Steve Stivers, as his guest for the President’s State of the Union address; however, Moses’ agenda was more than that.

While this was a once in a lifetime experience for the judge, it was also an opportunity for Moses to educate legislators on what’s happening across America in the war against drugs. Moses sees this battle daily in his courtroom and during the weekly Vivitrol meetings with those who chose to fight the battle with him.

“The opioid epidemic is taking its toll in communities across the country,” stated Stivers. “Judge Moses has been an instrumental partner in fighting the opioid epidemic in Southeast Ohio, establishing one of the most successful and innovative drug courts in the state. The key to the success of his court is not just the type of medication people are given for treatment; it is the wrap-around treatment that comprehensively helps them deal with their addiction.”

During his visit to Capitol Hill, Moses first met with Senator Rob Portman, and talked about the opioid issues and what kind of funding that could be created to help areas across the country, but more importantly what funding could be funneled into Ohio, and small communities such as Hocking County. He also talked about the criminal justice system and how the county is faced with exorbitant jail bills each month.

While some of the issues may seem minimal to others, Moses takes these issues to heart because they are affecting the community in a negative manner — the community where he lives and is raising his family.

He also spoke with Portman’s staff that is in charge of the opiate issue and drug intervention about new treatment methods coming into play; how things are done here in Hocking County; how the Vivitrol program is handled and is progressing; and funding available for the opioid epidemic.

His next meeting was with Representative Joyce Beatty’s opiate specialist. According to Moses, Beatty’s specialist didn’t have much knowledge on the Vivitrol program, but was well informed after their discussion. He also met with Senator Sherrod Brown, who appeared to be very interested in the Vivitrol program. Unlike Stivers, Brown has never visited the Vivitrol court; however, Moses extended an invitation to the Senator.

“I thought I helped educate them on a lot of things they didn’t know,” stated Moses. “That’s kind of my role — is to educate the people of what’s going on here on the ground. I’m here in the trenches dealing with it — I’m kind of like the private on the ground and they’re (legislators) like the general, and I’m trying to find a way to pass information up to them, so a face-to-face meeting with them is a big deal.”

Moses said the meetings kept him running from office to office, but he didn’t mind as long as his voice was heard and those of higher forces heard the struggles that small communities are facing daily with the opioid crisis. He connected with as many people as he could in the short time he was in Washington, including Stivers’ office and staff members.

“I also did some interviews with the Congressman for TV, he’s very proud of what we’ve done here in the district — there’s no politics that come into play when it comes to these issues,” Moses remarked. “He asked me to come talk to people — I got to meet a lot of representatives, got to sit with the new director of health and human services, who was just appointed that morning and confirmed. We had some dialogue about the opiate issue and he was very receptive to what we spoke about.

“It was amazing — I got to sit with some ambassadors that night at dinner,” he continued. “Congressman Stivers is really proud of what we’ve done in this district. This is what we need in our country — we need bipartisan people working together to try to combat this issue and I think he has done an excellent job of opening people’s eyes and working with me to help with funding and the problems surrounding the opiate issue.”

Not only is Stivers proud of what’s been accomplished in Hocking County, Judge Moses is also very proud of the fact that the Vivitrol program has an 82.5 percent employment rate of graduates, with only four cases of recidivism in six years. The drug court has helped many recapture their lives from the grip of addiction; and serves as a model across the country.

“I was there as a representative of Hocking County to let them know what we are seeing and one of the issues that keeps coming up is the grandparents are raising their grandkids now,” Moses commented. “That seemed to hit home with a lot of people. It was a humbling experience to talk to these people and have them actually take an interest in what we’re doing and how we’re doing things and — listen to someone from small Hocking County. So that was very humbling. I was very proud that they would take the time to listen.

“Congressman Stivers — he really treated me well — he took me everywhere. Everyone seemed very interested in the program (Vivitrol) and what we’re doing here in Hocking County — they are willing to work with us to help with the opioid problem,” Moses added.

Throughout the years, Congressman Stivers and Moses have formed a relationship and bond over the concerns of drug addiction in Hocking County. Stivers is a strong advocate of the Vivitrol Drug Court and has worked with Moses to bring awareness of the program and the issues surrounding opioid addiction.

 

“Spending time with Judge Moses and hearing about what he is seeing on the ground only further affirmed my commitment to taking the next steps to stop drug abuse,” Stivers commented.

“I want to thank Judge Moses for joining me at the State of the Union address and sharing his perspective. I look forward to working with him and other leaders in the community to take the next steps in the fight against drug abuse,” he concluded.

“It was really an honor and privilege to get to go to this event and to be able to talk to all of the legislators,” Moses continued. “I can’t speak more highly about what the Congressman does to work together with people. In politics we’re never going to agree on everything, but we need to work together and that’s what we’re doing. What I took out of this is — there is a group of people who are really trying to work together with this issue.”

Moses said the State of the Union address was quite the experience — being a judge, there were a lot of restrictions on what he could and could not do. For example, there were a lot of times, he was not permitted to stand and applaud as others did. He could not take his cell phone into the room and was stripped of his watch before entering. He was told to follow the protocol of the Supreme Court judges, and he did.

“It’s a piece of history,” he said. “The chamber is not as big as you think it is — it looks much larger on TV. It was interesting to watch the dynamics of the individuals and the parties coming into speak. It was a great experience — something that I would never trade for the world.”

Moses is hoping that with his presence in Washington, and the discussions he had with legislators, the community will eventually see more funding coming in to help fight the opioid crisis and to treat the people in Hocking County.

“That’s my goal,” he remarked. “That’s why I went there — that’s what I wanted to do. I hope something comes out of it for the county. I hope they start listening to those who are dealing with this on a daily basis.”

Moses wanted to make an impact on Capitol Hill, of how desperately small communities, such as Hocking County, are in need of funding to help battle the addiction problem that kills hundreds of people daily throughout the country — it’s evident if nothing else, his voice was heard.


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