The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 18, 2012

Indigent drug care big county problem

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —  The challenges of providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment services to the county’s indigent were driven home to a state official Tuesday.

Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, met with the Ashtabula County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and Kathleen Kinney, executive director of Lake Area Recovery Center. Also attending the meeting were County Prosecutor Attorney Thomas Sartini and Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey, who presented an overview of the county’s drug court program.

Kinney earlier this spring invited Hall to come to Ashtabula County and learn about the challenges facing the treatment programs. Hall, who was appointed by Gov. John Kasich in January 2011, said he periodically visits county boards to become familiar with their needs and programs. His is a cabinet level position.

Hall said the state’s budget woes are being felt across the state, but he is impressed with how Ashtabula County has focused its limited resources on effective programs. He said many other communities “would have thrown up their hands in a sense of helplessness” if faced with the local challenges.

“They’ve done an amazing job with intervention,” he said. “I’m very impressed with what this community is able to do with limited resources.”

Kinney said that 10 years ago, LARC’s total funding was around $1.2 million. “Now, it’s less than half that, and we have even greater demand now that we had 10 years ago,” she said.

LARC, a nonprofit agency that offers both outpatient and residential treatment services, served about 1,200 clients last year. Kinney said the earliest a new client could receive an assessment is late June.

He said state lawmakers need to hear from their constituents on the funding issues.

“This is a critical, really critical year,” he said.

The eye-opener for Hall was the huge number of cases in Ashtabula County that involve Medicaid recipients and how insufficient the funding is the indigent. About 90 percent of those who come through drug court do not have a job.

While Turning Point receives a federal grant to assist women with residential treatment, the section of the facility that treats men has been closed since January because funding has disappeared.

Hall was especially interested in learning how the local board uses some of its money to fund the county’s drug court, which in turn contracts for services with LARC. But funding restrictions limits the program to only high-risk offenders.

“We’re very proud of what we do here, but we need to do more,” Sartini told Hall.

Hall warned the local directors that there will be even more people eligible for public services when the federal health care law’s 2014 provisions kick in.

“Hopefully, you’ll be ready for the expanded eligibility,” he told them.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.



Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

1
Text Only
Local News
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
Ashtabula Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Events
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday