A total of $573,667 in federal opioid funding through the 21st Century Cures law has been distributed to the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services Board that serves Highland, Fayette, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.
The grant dollars will be used to create a program called “The Working Poor” and will offer residents of the five-county area open door access for outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. The Working Poor program is for individuals who have insurance, but have high deductibles, high co-pays, or their insurance carrier is not paneled with the provider agency, ADAMH Executive Director Penny Dehner said.
“Much like the safety net provided for services to individuals on a sliding fee scale who have no insurance, these dollars will be used to allow the same sliding fee scale to be applied and high deductibles disregarded when seeking outpatient treatment for a substance use disorder,” Dehner said. “We are excited to offer funding to our treatment providers with covering underinsured individuals so people can be treated early in addiction, hopefully reducing the need for long-term treatment. Addressing the addiction issue early, while individuals are still employed, is the absolute right thing to do.”
Additionally, Dehner said, the board of directors’ approved funding to provide mental health treatment through contract agencies participating in the SUD.
“We know we must not only treat the addiction, we must treat the mental health issues as well,” ADAMH Board Chair Jack Clark said said in news release.
The ADAMH Board of Directors also approved plans to further expand access to mental health treatment by funding The Working Poor program for individuals with mental health struggles who are underinsured with high deductibles and high co-pays.
Dehner said the ADAMH Board offers provider choice, outpatient mental health, and substance use disorder treatment services to individuals within its region by contracting with two providers within each county. Those services are available by contacting one of the following providers:
* Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center (clinics in Highland, Fayette, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties);
* FRS, formerly Family Recovery Services (Highland County);
* The Recovery Council (clinics in Ross and Pike counties);
* Pickaway Area Recovery; and
* Fayette Recovery Services.
All treatment providers contracted with ADAMH are certified, have obtained National CARF accreditation, must meet quality standards and offer both mental health and substance use disorder treatment, Dehner said.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said in a news release that The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction disbursed a total of $26 million through local ADAMH boards and statewide initiatives. This is the second year in a row Ohio has received opioid funding through the Cures law that Congress enacted in 2016, providing $1 billion over two years nationally to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic.
“This is terrific news for Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties, and these new funds will help the communities’ efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state,” Portman said in the news release. “… This is another positive step forward, but we must do more…”
Dehner said the funds are good news for the whole community.
“We’re really excited because it opened doors for those who could not afford treatment,” Dehner said. “A lot of people, maybe they have a $5,000 deductible, and they don’t have the money to pay that. So they just continue to use because that’s the easier option. This is going to help us reach others that doors have been closed to.”
The Paint Valley ADAMH Board is a political subdivision of state government created in 1967 by the Ohio legislature to ensure the availability of community-based alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services for the residents of its five-county area.
Jeff Gilliland is the editor of The Times-Gazette. He can be reached at [email protected] or 937-402-2522.