Portman talks funding to fight opioid epidemic


U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said this week he’s proud to have helped secure opioid funding through the “CURES legislation,” which includes over $500,000 of federal funds designated to assist in the treatment of individuals with a substance use disorder in several counties — including Fayette.

The Record-Herald reported Aug. 2 that the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services Board has been awarded a 21st Century Cures Act grant through The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS). The grant dollars will be used to create a program called “The Working Poor” and will offer residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties open door access for outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

“The Working Poor” program is for individuals who have insurance but have high deductibles, high co-pays, or their insurance carrier is not paneled with the provider agency.

The total amount of grant dollars to the local ADAMH board is $573,667.

In total, OMHAS has distributed a total of $26 million through ADAMH boards in local Ohio communities and state-wide initiatives, according to a press release from Portman’s office. This is the second year in a row Ohio has received $26 million in funding.

“This is terrific news for Ohio, and these new funds will help continue our efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state,” Portman said. “This is another positive step forward, but we must do more, and that’s why I continue to push for common sense solutions like the STOP Act and CARA 2.0 that will help us turn the tide of addiction in Ohio and around the country.”

Much like the safety net provided for services to individuals on a sliding fee scale who have no insurance, locally these dollars will be used to allow the same sliding fee scale to be applied and high deductibles disregarded when seeking outpatient treatment for a substance use disorder, according to ADAMH.

ADAMH Executive Director Penny Dehner said, “We are excited to offer funding to our treatment providers with covering under-insured individuals so people can be treated early in addiction, hopefully reducing the need for long-term treatment. Addressing the addiction issue early, while individuals are still employed, is the absolute right thing to do.”

Additionally, the board of directors’ approved funding to provide mental health treatment through contract agencies participating in the SUD, “The Working Poor” program, at the June 2018 board meeting. Board chair Jack Clark said, “We know we must not only treat the addiction, we must treat the mental health issues as well.”

The board of directors’ also approved plans to further expand access to mental health treatment, by funding “The Working Poor” program for individuals with mental health struggles and who are under-insured with high deductibles and high co-pays.

The ADAMH Board offers provider choice, outpatient mental health, and substance use disorder treatment services to individuals within its region by contracting with two providers within each county. These services are available by contacting one of the following providers:

* Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center (Clinics in Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties)

* The Recovery Council (Clinics in Ross and Pike counties)

* Pickaway Area Recovery

* Fayette Recovery Services

* Family Recovery Services (Highland County)

All treatment providers contracted with ADAMH are OMHAS certified, have obtained National CARF accreditation, and must meet quality standards and offer both mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

Sen. Rob Portman
http://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/08/web1_RobPortman-1-.jpgSen. Rob Portman

By Ryan Carter

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Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica

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