Oregon extends agreement for addiction program

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council on Monday extended an agreement with the Board of Lucas County Commissioners and the Correctional Treatment Facility for the Regional Addiction Program.
        The commissioners and the Correctional Treatment Facility are authorized to implement treatment programs. The Regional Addiction Program addresses the provision of regional addiction services through the Correctional Treatment Facility Release Program agreement to the Oregon Municipal Court.
        The program provides addiction services for convicted offenders and aids in the protection of the community by the rehabilitation of convicted offenders charged with criminal offenses by the Oregon Municipal Court.
        The agreement provides for both services rendered to the city and fees for the provision of these services. The city will have access to two residential beds. One of the beds will be paid from the Probation Improvement and incentive grant that the city participated in. The city portion for the remaining bed will be for a total annual fee in the amount of $13,687.50 with a per diem rate of $75 for 365 bed days divided by two. It is the same expense as last year.
        The agreement is effective as of July 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020. It may be extended by mutual agreement for an additional 12 month period, beginning on July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021.
        “This is a yearly contract that council has entered into since 2015,” said Oregon Law Director Melissa Purpura. “This is a 60 day in patient treatment facility.”
        The usage has increased ever since 2015, she said. “For 2019, we’ve already exceeded our usage for the past years. We’ve had successful rates for individuals entering into this program. They don’t just deal with the addiction, but with mental health and job placement, which is kind of unique.”
        Purpura said the program has been very successful.
        “Our usage of the two residential beds per month has already exceeded what we have used last year. So last year, we used nine beds for the total year. As of June this year, we’ve already used 10. So we have not exceeded our ability to use beds for the year. But we’re finding that this has been so successful and it’s been a benefit to the individuals coming through our court system. It also protects our community when they come out (of the program) that we’re using it more and we’re seeing a higher success rate,” said Purpura.
        Councilwoman Sandy Bihn said she supports the program. But she asked if two beds were enough for Oregon.
        “Do we have excess demand for these beds? I think this is the kind of program in today’s society that is extremely beneficial and I’m very supportive of it,” said Bihn.
        “At this point, two beds have been sufficient,” said Purpura. She added that each community has a certain number of beds. If a community’s beds are filled, that community can use the bed of another if it is not being used.
        “So if Maumee has two beds, and they’re not using one of them, and we have a demand of three for this month, we can pull from one of their beds. So each community is working together to use these beds. For the past couple of years, it has been successful,” said Purpura.
        “I certainly would be in favor expanding this next year,” said Bihn.
Increasing trend
        Councilman Steve Hornyak asked Purpura if she thought the city would exceed its usage in following years.
        “Do you see the trend is going to continue as we know the societal challenges of all the addictions out there?” asked Hornyak. “Do you see this as becoming a stronger, more effective and more necessary tool for us moving forward? Should we be looking at 2020 and beyond what this program needs to look like?”
        “At this junction, I think it’s sufficient,” said Purpura. “We should look at this in the next three months to see where we’re at. The other thing is there are other types of treatments that are available. So we take those offenders and analyze them to see what best fits them. Because there is more of a focus on the addiction, and how it’s affecting the city, Lucas County, and the state of Ohio, we’ve been able to use other resources. So we’re not having to turn people away. We’re just looking at it, saying `This is most appropriate for these individuals in this situation.’ So if we keep analyzing it every quarter, we can better assess what next year will look like. It’s something we need to keep focusing on and reanalyzing.”


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