VALPARAISO | The Porter County Health Department has agreed to take control of the Antabuse anti-alcohol program after a legal impediment arose preventing the county's judges from further administering the effort.
The Porter County Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a request to establish a fee for the program on behalf of the health department.
The monthly user fee of $120 will remain the same next year, but could be re-evaluated in the future after the health department has taken control of the program, said health department attorney Dave Hollenbeck.
Antabuse is administered to those charged and/or convicted of alcohol-related offenses, Hollenbeck said. The medication creates a negative reaction for those who consume alcohol after ingesting the drug.
The county currently has 80 users on the program, many of whom would likely be in jail without the effort, he said. The drug is distributed by the health department three days a week in the morning and evening in both Portage and Valparaiso.
The county not only provides the medication, but also a security person and nurse during the distribution periods, Hollenbeck said.