Summit County Common Pleas Court has partnered with Greenleaf Family Center, to provides addiction and mental health assessments for low-risk criminal offenders, in an effort to steer them into intervention and recovery--instead of jail.
Judge Amy Corrigall Jones explains, ""If you address the underlying issues, albeit drugs and alcohol, mental illness, or intellectual disabilities; ultimately, you're going to reduce recidivism, poor decision making, and reduce crime. In the end, that will save our taxpayers money".
The Summit County ADM Board is ramping up efforts to battle drug addiction and abuse in and around Summit County.
Part of that effort is a new Addiction hotline they will be unveiling Tuesday, January 17th. The local number will be operational Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any calls made after hours will go to the ADM Crisis Hotline that will remain operational.
Dr. Jerry Craig, ADM Board Executive Director, says the new hotline is not exclusive to opioid addiction. "Irrespective of the problem, we want to make sure that people have access to the most available treatment options," Craig says, whether that's treatment for drug, alcohol, or even gambling addiction.
The number to the new ADM Addiction Help Line is 330-940-1133. Again, the ADM Crisis Hotline will continue to operate 24/7, but specific calls to this new hotline will be expedited and triaged to the most current and available resources regardless of patient needs.
See the full press release from the Summit County ADM Board below.
ADM Addiction Help Line Opens Tuesday, 1.17.17
The ADM Addiction Help Line launches on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, as a new service to assist individuals who are looking to recover from an addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling. Callers will be asked a few questions to assist the Help Line staff in determining which local treatment providers could meet their needs. They will be provided with information about treatment options available to them based on their individual circumstances. Once the caller knows their options, they can choose the local agency where they would like to begin treatment. The Addiction Help Line staff will then connect the caller to the selected treatment agency to make a warm hand-off and to schedule the initial appointment. The ADM Board is contracting with the Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. for this new service. The Help Line number is 330-940-1133 and the hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm. The ADM Crisis Center will continue to be available on a 24 /7 basis to provide detoxification and drop-in services and treatment readiness groups. “Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. is pleased to partner with ADM on an Addiction Help Line”, stated Malcolm J. Costa, President & CEO of Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. “Calling the addiction helpline may be an act of courage; sometimes taking strength to admit you have a problem,” stated Costa. “We recognize the importance of getting people the help they need in a timely manner when they are ready to start their recovery. The ADM Addiction Help Line will fast track making the connection between those seeking addiction services and local treatment providers. By calling the Help Line, those seeking addiction services will choose from the most available agencies and have the convenience of being connected to their selected provider to get the process started”, adds Jerry Craig, ADM Board Executive Director.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman from Ohio is excited about the new report from the U.S. Surgeon General on addiciton that was released on Thursday.
In the report, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy designated addiciton as a disease.
Watch the full comments from Senator Rob Portman below:
STEM school students are tackling a non-traditional project this school year, and they're doing so per the order of the State Superintendent.
Aimee Kennedy, Vice President of Education Philanthropy at Battelle out of Columbus, OH, says they've partnered with STEM schools in Ohio and across the United States, to help bring attention to and help fight against opioid abuse and addiction. Strategies That Engage Minds, is a more appropriate acronym (opposed to Science Technology Engineering Math), Kennedy says, because students are encouraged to take a different approach to a long-time problem that is, especially in Summit County as of late, affecting so many households, some of which are made up of students their age. She says it's about for Battelle, it's about STEM solving real-world problems, and "using your content knowledge and applying it in very much the same way that professionals do in a work environment."
Hear the entire interview with Aimee below and explore all that ways Battelle is partnering with STEM schools to better their students and student experience here.
As our week-long series on the heroin epidemic comes to an end, it's just the beginning for those who have high hopes to make a difference in the community.
Take for example Travis and Shelly Bornstein who lost their son two years ago. They want to open a treatment center on the same vacant lot in Akron where their son, Tyler, died from a heroin overdose.
"The person [Tyler] was with took him to a vacant lot at the corner of Arlington and Alfred and left him there to die," said Travis. "That was on Sept. 28 of 2014. Ever since then, our family has been trying to work to try to bring positive change to the heroin/opiate epidemic."
Shelly Bornstein and her sister, Laura Broyles, officially launched the non-profit program, Breaking Barriers - Hope is Alive, to raise awareness and money to build a new treatment center in the city.
"It's not going to be an easy solve," said Travis. "We cannot get into the blame game. We all have to come together as a community to work together to solve this."
Travis, the current president of Teamsters Local 24 in Akron, attended the union's international convention in Las Vegas in June with hopes of raising awareness about the new non-profit organization. It didn't take long for the donation pledges to roll in -- totaling around $1.4 million.
While it may seem like a lot of money, Travis say much more is needed to build a fully operational facility in the city.
"We can probably build a building, but we can't operate, fund and staff a state-of-the-art facility like we would like to have with $1.4 million."
Breaking Barriers continues to hold fundraisers and has launched an online crowdfunding page to raise money to carry out the goal of building a new treatment center in Akron, but Travis says it's also about building partnerships with city leaders and community members.
"A big part of our hope. A big part of our mission is to offer hope. We need to offer hope to our community."
Help for those struggling with a heroin addiction can come from a number of different places -- including right inside jails. Dr. Debra Walsh with Summit Psychological Associates works directly with the Summit County Jail offering Vivitrol to inmates battling a heroin addiction. The drug works to reduce cravings and block the high.
According to Walsh, the Vivitrol program is not just about reducing a person's craving for the drug -- but also about connecting the person with an outpatient treatment when they are released from jail.
"Right when they get the injection, they are hooked, specifically, with our outpatient program so that they can leave the jail and start right up with our mental health (services), our substance treatment, and the monthly injections," said Walsh.
The program offered to inmates includes Vivitrol, but it's just one component to the recovery phase.
"So we really do come at it from all three perspectives, instead of just looking at as medication. And that's really how we're addressing the overdose piece because just being on the medication does not prevent them from using other drugs. It also doesn't help solve everything in their lives."
While some inpatient treatment facilities may be at full capacity, Walsh says they are still accepting people for the outpatient program. They are opening up "walk-in" hours every Friday (between 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) to reach out to those who want to learn how they can get involved with the program.
Summit Psychological Associates will also be hosting a free educational event discuss treatment options and complementary resources that are available in the area on Sept. 16.
A panel of speakers will be available including law enforcement, judges, and representatives from Oriana House and Summit Psychological Associates. Click here to register for the event.