Ohio In Tens of Millions of New Funds, Innovative Agencies Integration

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
02/07/2015 –ATIN – The state of Ohio is maintaining its leadership role among the states in providing new monies and innovative programming for those who need help and are afflicted with the disease of addiction, according to published reports throughout the state. In an alliance between Ohio’s prisons administration and agency – like in most states the vast majority of inmates in Ohio have issues on some level with addiction – in what Ohio prisons chief Gary Mohr called a “revolutionary” arrangement, where there will be tens of millions in new funding, but most importantly the running of treatment programs in prisons will be shifted to the state’s mental health and addictions agency in a deal conceived and negotiated between Mohr and his counterpart at Ohio’s mental health and addictions agency Tracy Plouck, a deal that still needs to be approved by Ohio’s General Assembly in order to become law.

Success in the most Populous Counties

It’s doubtful Mohr and Plouck, as well as Gov. John Kasich who has given the plan his full backing and made addiction treatment a major priority of his administrations as governor, will have much trouble gaining approval for their plan given the success higher levels of funding and accessibility of treatment in the state’s most populous counties has had in reducing recidivism from those areas. The reason why Ohio’s prison population has continued to grow toward record levels is that those same programs are not, and have not, been available in rural counties to much of an extent. According to reports, the new funding will be mostly aimed at creating programs for those in less populated rural areas and the new monies, combined with the much greater efficiency of putting the prison system’s mental health and addictions in the hands of Plouck’s agency, which will give much more integrated dual diagnosis care and avoid many paperwork type redundancies, Ohio will likely avoid reaching new record levels of prison population that it had been expected to reach by 2017, according to published reports.

Continuum of Care

What has been occurring, and has had a highly negative effect on treatment success rates, according to the reports, is that long waits to get into programs have been occurring for those who have finished their sentences and who are often sent back to local jails for months at a time while they wait for beds to open up so they can continue with their addiction care. “We are wasting dollars and they’re stopping treatment when they are released,” Mohr told Cincinnati.com. Says, Stuart Hudson, Plouck’s number two man at Ohio’s mental health and addictions agency: “We were never able to accomplish what we wanted to do [previously], which was to achieve a continuum of care into the community.” Now, with the greater funding and the fact that funding will be able to be stretched much further due to the greater organizational and clinical quality that will be achieved by the integration deal struck by Mohr and Plouck, the most disadvantaged of those that suffer from the disease of addiction in Ohio will now have a much better shot at making it.


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