County puts $3.5M toward opioid fight

For more information about the programs:

Jodi Long, ADAMHS

937-443-0416 or

Barbara Marsh, Public Health

937-224-1543 or

Where the money is going

CrisisCare expansion: $1,053,970

Ambulatory withdrawal management services: $864,627

Residential withdrawal management expansion: $705,256

Community based treatment team: $500,000

Expanded access for jail services: $250,000

Recovery housing for opiate addicted: $100,000

Narcan repository: $63,748

Recovery housing expansion: $47,450

Peer recovery supporter training: $31,650

TOTAL: $3,516,701

Montgomery County is spending more than $3.5 million on new services to help opioid addicts get clean and relieve the growing strain the protracted heroin epidemic is putting on the county’s public health, welfare, law enforcement and judicial systems, officials announced Tuesday.

The additional funding, which adds to the $10 million the county had expected to spend this year on opioid addiction programs, is another indication how rampant opioid abuse has become in the community.

“This is an initial investment, an initial down payment in what we need to do to aggressively turn the tide of the opiate addiction crisis in our community,” said Joe Tuss, Montgomery County Administrator.

The new services range from more detox beds to an immediate-entry program to treat those saved from overdoses by Narcan to more recovery housing for expectant mothers who are addicted. Narcan can stop an overdose by counteracting the effects of opioids on brain receptors.

“We continue to align our community efforts to assure we are collectively working together to impact the epidemic of addiction,” said Jeff Cooper, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County health commissioner. “These new and expanded services will go a long way to reach those who need help the most.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley said the heightened attention to the local heroin epidemic is a direct result of a rare joint work session between city of Dayton and Montgomery County commissioners held in April. The commissioners heard how opiate use impacts not only the lives of abusers but also the public servants who contend with the fallout of addiction in the county’s public health programs and criminal justice system.

Heroin overdose deaths skyrocketed 225 percent in Montgomery County between 2011 and 2014, when 190 deaths were attributed to the drug or its synthetic partner, fentanyl. Last year the number of deaths linked to heroin and fentanyl dipped to 185. In all, 259 people died from from accidental overdoses in 2015 in Montgomery County. The county coroner has warned 2016 overdose deaths are on pace to exceed that number and top the 2014 record high of 264 due to the increased presence of fentanyl, which is sold on the streets as heroin but is up to 50 times more powerful.

The Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are tasked with reducing the number of deaths, Foley said.

The expansion of services will be paid through Montgomery County Human Services levy funds. The additional dollars will continue annually at least through the 2019 levy cycle, officials said.

“This collaborative effort with Public Health is not only a long-term financial commitment, but it also is an investment in our community,” said ADAMHS Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley. “These enhanced services will begin to give those suffering from addiction immediate access to a full array of customized services when they are ready for change.”

Addicts are already using at least one of the new services, an ambulatory withdrawal management program through Samaritan Behavioral Health, Inc. This type of outpatient detox — which did not exist in the county prior to Aug. 1 — can serve up to 20 people per week or 1,040 annually. It uses one medication to help users through withdrawal and then transitions them to longer-term medication-assisted treatment.

Other newly-funded services the county will roll out during the next six weeks include:

  • A new, 24/7 CrisisCare program expansion offers people rescued by Narcan from an opiate overdose to voluntary enter immediate treatment. Secure transport from a hospital to CrisisCare will be provided. CrisisCare will complete a screening and then make an immediate treatment referral.
  • The county will double the number of residential withdrawal management beds through Nova Behavioral Health. Annually, this equates to access for 720 people to complete a typical seven-day residential program. In January, the total number of beds will increase to 12, making withdrawal management in a residential setting available to over 1,000 people annually.
  • A new program to provide recovery housing for between 16 to 32 pregnant women annually, depending on length of stay.
  • Expanded access for inmates in the Montgomery County Jail already involved with an ADAMHS agency for addiction and mental health treatment. All inmates are assessed upon intake into the jail. If they are currently under treatment for addiction and mental health issues, that treatment can continue while they are jailed with those services being funded by ADAMHS.

ADAMHS and the Public Health Addiction Services Program are also partnering to develop a multi-disciplinary, community-based team to provide substance use disorder treatment and services to individuals in their homes and the community as an alternative to existing inpatient and residential treatment options.

Foley said healing addiction will not only better a user’s life but the new wraparound services could also ease some of the burden overwhelming budgets of public safety officials and care providers.

“There are a fair number in this community who spend many nights at the county jail, they get admitted to the emergency room on a pretty significant basis, and they interact with our public agencies,” he said. “I think you can save money and help people live better lives.”

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