|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
11/10/2014 -ATIN – The state of Ohio, reflecting its improved financial condition and policies from the top on down that consider addiction treatment to be a major priority, is following through on promises made in recent years to improve access to addiction treatment services throughout the state. It should come as no surprise to Treatment Magazine readers that public coffers have been opened and some brand new money is being thrown at the worst social problem by far that has ever existed in the state and, indeed, the entire nation and beyond. While it’s great to hear that $10M is being made available, the small sum relative to overall budgets both public and private testifies to how far a few dollars go if they are spent in the right place and in the right way.
Half the Counties
According to published reports, the $10M should be enough to fund new sober living residences in half the state’s nearly 90 counties, slightly more than 650 beds. Now that sounds like nothing given the scale of the problem, but because of the willingness issue – at large percentage of people abusing alcohol or drugs are unwilling or unable to stop – the capacity that Ohio is bringing online should be enough to meet demand. That’s especially true since the money is being spent on sober living, which is the “sweet spot” on the treatment continuum of care as we have explained and continue to believe. The value in sober living, and one must ensure that the sober living operation is high quality, is that it lengthens the amount time one spends in a sober environment at reasonable cost.
Big Savings for Ohio
In the Ohio case, the new sober living beds are being funded by the state which will wind up saving tremendous amounts because earlier this year the state’s prisons director was forced to ask for an appropriations in excess of $50M to open two shuttered prisons because of a lack sober living options for judges, who had little choice but to send addicts back to hugely expensive prison beds. It is expenditures like Ohio’s on sober living that will eventually wind up saving the state a ton of money because of the lower cost over the short term and long term for sober living. According to reports, all 53 of the state’s regional behavioral health boards must by law have sober living services available by late 2016 to those people who want those services.
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