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Ohio candidate David Pepper calls for more heroin treatment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Democratic candidate for Ohio attorney general wants more state dollars spent on heroin treatment, as well as tough penalties for drug dealers.

David Pepper says as much of Ohio's expanded Medicaid funding as possible should be directed to addiction treatment, and the state also should return local government money to communities dealing with the crisis.

Pepper said Tuesday that the state, and in particular Attorney General Mike DeWine, have responded slowly to the epidemic of heroin abuse.

DeWine, a Republican, says he welcomes Pepper's ideas. He lists a number of efforts he's undertaken, from town hall meetings to a special police unit to beef up investigations of heroin rings.

Communities across Ohio are struggling with overdose deaths and crime waves related to addicts trying to feed their habit.

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