County receives $150,000 for drug treatment
Star Beacon - 8/13/2018
Aug. 13--ASHTABULA -- The Ashtabula County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board was awarded about $150,000 in federal funding that will establish new opioid treatment measures in the county, officials said.
The 21st Century CURES Act of 2016, which opened up $1 billion in federal grant funding to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, is providing $156,203 to the county board this year, according to a release from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
"This is terrific news for Ashtabula County, and these new funds will help the community's efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state," Portman said.
"I have seen firsthand how this law is making a difference across our state. This is another positive step forward, but we must do more."
States can use CURES funding to improve prescription drug monitoring programs, train health care workers and increase access to substance abuse treatment.
The county board is receiving about $50,000 more than it did the previous year through the law, largely due to its positive outcomes, said Miriam Walton executive director. The board had retained 51 clients in treatment programs and assessed 81 people for treatment by the time the grant year ended and used all its previous CURES funding, she said.
"We didn't request additional funding but our outcomes were so good they granted us additional funding," she said.
"We're trying to facilitate to make sure that we're more likely to engage someone, if we can get them immediately into treatment when they leave incarceration."
Matt Butler, a clinical supervisor with Community Counseling Center, said part of the grant monies will fund ambulatory detoxification management at the center, which allows those struggling with substance abuse trying "to get through the worst part of withdrawal" to receive medication-assisted treatment at home.
"We didn't really have a way to do an at-home detox that's supervised by a doctor," he said.
"Because of having a job, because of having young kids in the home, or transportation issues, it can be really hard for people to 'go away' for three to five days, a couple weeks."
Butler said the center will also expand a "navigator" position at the center to a full-time position.
The worker already screens Ashtabula County Jail inmates for mental health or addiction treatment services, but will also help those in Lake Area Recovery Center and the jail's drug treatment program re-integrate into society.
Walton said the navigator will follow drug offenders "from their last day of jail into
their first day of treatment" and help them keep from sliding backwards.
"They do (community) re-entry planning and some assessment work and try to get people ready to move right from out treatment program in the jail to outpatient treatment in the community," she said.
"The (county) jail has been telling us they're feeling this is a missing piece."
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