DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Montgomery County judge says the community doesn’t have enough resources to fight the heroin problem among youth.

Judge Tony Capizzi with the county’s Juvenile Justice Center says while we have treatment for adults, we don’t have any for teenagers.

Capizzi has overseen the drug court program for 12 years. It’s an option to help juveniles seek treatment versus incarceration.

It’s because of the deficiency in treatment facilities, Judge Capizzi sends teens to rehab centers in cities like Columbus, Akron, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

For 18-year-old Sean Beeker drug court saved his life.

“I decided to try it and I kind of liked the high, I was chasing the high and it was a problem. I let the drug control me,” said Beeker, who started doing drugs when he was 14.

Beeker was using crystal meth and heroin when he was arrested for stealing. He was brought to Capizzi’s courtroom where he was sent to drug treatment in Columbus,

“There is no reason I should send a child out of this community for treatment. Especially, if we want them to interact better with their own family,” said Capizzi.

This month, there are 120 kids going through the county’s drug court program.

“About 15-percent have issues with  heroin. 15-percent is 15-percent too many. Absolutely, it’s a lot,” said Capizzi.

Capizzi is worried that number is going to increase in the next few years. An issue because currently there are no treatment facilities dedicated to youth.

“Clearly, we need a residential drug facility and a day facility for kids using drugs. It’s not enough to have a juvenile go to treatment for an hour or two a day. That’s what we are missing in this town,” said Capizzi.

That’s why Capizzi sends teens like Beeker to Columbus for treatment. He says it’s the only way to save their lives. Currently, there are seven treatment facilities in the county for adults. Capizzi wants at least one to be dedicated to youth battling addiction.

“If we could treat these kids when they are 14 and 15 maybe they wouldn’t be dying at 25 like they are now,” said Capizzi.

Beeker says most of his family deals with addiction and for him, being sent to Columbus was good. For others who need the support of their families, Capizzi says it’s crucial treatment is available in Montgomery County.

“My court has been begging for a facility for years in this community and no one seems to want to listen. It’s always a matter of dollars and cents. I can prove that we would save money in the long-run by having a treatment center for kids,” said Capizzi.

Once a year the program holds a drug court graduation. On Thursday 23 teenagers got their diplomas at the federal courthouse. Beeker spoke at the event to fellow graduates about his journey with addiction.