Saying it doesn’t have enough funds to provide the needed services in its five-county area, the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMH) Board has announced that it is placing a levy on the November general election ballot.
“Funding from state and federal sources has not kept pace with the need as our communities face the opiate epidemic,” Paint Valley ADAMH Associate Director Penny Dehner said. “The opiate epidemic has long-reaching and long-lasting effects on children and families struggling with addiction. This indicates a greater need to provide additional mental health and prevention services to children and families.”
Funds created from the 1-mill, 10-year property tax levy wold be used to provide better access to treatment, detoxification, crisis services, and promoting prevention in the five-county area, according to ADAMH Board Chairman Jack Clark of Circleville.
If passed, the levy would generate roughly $4.5 million annually. The cost to a homeowner on a $100,000 property would be approximately $35 per year.
Created in 1967, the Paint Valley ADAMH Board serves Highland, Fayette, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.
Dehner said the ADAMH Board passed a 1-mill, 10-year levy in 2012, but those funds are not enough to provide the services needed now, primarily to the opiate epidemic.
“We haven’t been able to treat more people and [the lack of funds] is why,” Dehner said. “The need is so much greater now and this is to try to meet that need.”
She said the funds generated from the new levy would be used to support a range of mental health and substance abuse services, including crisis, detox, treatment and prevention programming. She said that other than jails, there are currently no detoxification facilities in the five-county area, and that people are being placed on six-month wait lists for services.
Dehner said the sheriffs in the area have been great to work with, but that offering detoxification services in a county jail setting is not the best situation.
“We really hated having to go to the voters, but could not see another way to generate the funds needed,” Clark said.
Dehner said the board would like to be able to offer services to children in crisis situations at ages as early as kindergarten, “to give them the skills to deal with issues they have at home.”
“We would have liked to say a five-year levy and the problem would go away. Unfortunately, it seems a little too big to be able to do that,” Dehner said. “We commend the communities for collaborating to address the issues, but we’d like to have their help with a yes vote to help their neighbors.”
The Paint Valley ADAMH Board was created to ensure the availability of community-based alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services. The ADAMH Board does not directly provide services, but contracts with a network of public and private health care agencies to treat persons in need.
More information on the levy or ADAMH-funded services can be obtained by calling the board office at 740-773-2283 or visiting the agency’s website at www.pvadamh.org.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.