The drug “gray death” lies in a dish at the crime lab of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations in Decatur, Ga., on Thursday, May 4, 2017. The new and dangerous opioid combo underscores the ever-changing nature of the U.S. addictions epidemic. Investigators who nicknamed the mixture have detected it or recorded overdoses blamed on it in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

County awarded $670K in federal funds for opioid treatment

Ohio is set to receive a total of $26 million per year in federal funding for two years to increase treatment, prevention, workforce development and more. Montgomery County got as much as it did because of its Tier I, or highest priority, status based on need, county officials said.

RELATED: Ohio gets $26 million to fight opioids

The county has one of worst rates of accidental drug overdose death per capita in Ohio with 349 deaths in 2016 and at least that many already in 2017.

Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services requested a total of $2.7 million.

RELATED: Solutions sought to curb opioid epidemic

The money awarded will be used for two treatment programs. Here is how the money will be spent:

  • $170,000 will be used to expand an existing outpatient detox program where addicts can walk in with no wait. ADAMHS continues to fund 50 percent of this program which operates at Samaritan Behavioral Health on Edwin C. Moses Blvd. and will now expand intake hours from Monday through Friday to 24/7. The program has already helped more than 300 people move into treatment, since it began last September, Long said. “I’d designed for people who have demands on their life,” she said, such as raising children or maintaining employment. Entering residential treatment would be disruptive so this provides an outpatient alternative where they can come to an appointment each day for 10 days to detox and develop a longer term recovery plan.
  • $500,000 will create a community-based addiction treatment team that will serve individuals in their homes as another alternative to residential or inpatient treatment options. The idea behind the new team is to help people where they are, said Jodi Long, director of treatment and supportive services for Montgomery County ADAMHS. This could include those who have trouble getting transportation to treatment. The model is one that has been used in treating severe, persistent mental illness, where a team including a case manager, doctor, nurse, and therapist go to patients’ homes. It was the number one priority on the county’s list of requests because patients are more likely to stick with the program than if they have to travel to various appointments. “It really does enhance people engaging with treatment and staying engaged long-term,” Long said.

RELATED: County surpasses 2016 fatal overdose total before June

County officials said some of the local projects that didn’t get money are being funded at the state level instead. That includes several education campaigns for both the public and opioid prescribers as well as funding the expansion of the PAX Good Behavior Game in schools.

MORE COVERAGE OF OPIOID CRISIS:

Fighting heroin crisis: What Ohio governor candidates plan to do

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor opens up about her sons’ opioid addictions

How Mexican drug cartels move heroin to Ohio streets

Ohio sets new 1-week limit for pain killer prescriptions

Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip

Dayton No. 1 in drug overdoses

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