State putting money into program that better tracks addicts and provides them with broader range of services
By Ed Runyan
Trumbull County’s addiction-treatment programs have received a boost from a new $628,020 grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Darryl Rodgers, administrator for the Trumbull County Common Pleas Court’s drug court program, and April Caraway, executive director of The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, say the new grant boosts medicine-assisted treatment and a more comprehensive program through the county’s drug court.
A type of medication-assisted treatment being done now is a Vivitrol program operated by the county’s Adult Probation Department with $675,000 per year from a Smart Ohio grant.
That grant ends at the same time the $628,020 grant begins.
The new program will allow the county to spend up to $2,000 per month per addict to supply them with Vivitrol or Suboxone – prescription drugs that treat opioid abuse – and provide other recovery supports, such as housing, transportation, child care and co-pays for private insurance.
The funding is for nonviolent adults with a dependence on opioids, alcohol or both.
“We are relieved to be getting this money because we learned recently that Trumbull County’s Adult Probation Department will not be receiving $675,000 per year in Smart Ohio money after this year,” Caraway said.
Rodgers said the new grant will require the addict be tracked to better define the treatment’s success.
One way to better track the addict is having him or her evaluated by the same doctor and tracked by the drug court. Under the probation department, the addicts could have had a variety of doctors evaluating them, Rodgers said.
“It appears [the state] is trying to measure outcomes to make sure that practices that work are being used,” Caraway said. “We’ve been partnering with Judge [Andrew] Logan’s Drug Court for a number of years.”
Drug court is usually about 18 months long and made up of people diverted from prison and other sanctions into treatment. They attend weekly sessions at the courthouse. At the end of the program, they can have their charge dismissed if they successfully complete treatment.
“Success is measured by clean drug screens, completing a treatment program and not being rearrested, among other national outcome measures,” Caraway said.
The treatment program under the new grant was tested in a pilot program in several counties in 2014. According to a Case Western Reserve University evaluation, use of drugs by participants in a 30-day period dropped 69.4 percent.
At the same time, crimes committed by the participants decreased by 86 percent. Upon completion of the program, 60 percent had a job and 91 percent had stable housing, Caraway said.