A drug addiction recovery center in Elyria, Ohio has been proposed for a November ballot after unanimous votes by Lorain County commissioners.
The commissioners voted on a tax measure on the ballot that would approve funding for a new drug addiction recovery center.
If approved by the voters, the proposed tax will go toward Recovery One, an addiction treatment center. Along with the commissioners’ assistance, the drug addiction recovery center would be supported by groups such as the Nord Family Foundation (NFF) and the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services of Lorain County.
The main topic discussed during the voting session was determining the levy for the drug addiction recovery center. The commissioners considered several different variations of taxes before settling on a levy of 0.30 mill over a five year period. The board was able to come to a decision before the ballot deadline. County officials decided to place the measure on the ballot this year because they believed it was a timely issue. While officials have not established the exact cost of the drug addiction recovery center, they were determined to put this on the ballot and then agree to an amount later.
There were 132 accidental drug-related overdoses in 2017, according to the Lorain County Coroner’s Office. Preliminary reports indicated that 42 people have died from drug-related overdoses this year.
Actions to further improve substance abuse treatment in Lorain County were analyzed in the Community Assessment of the Opioid Crisis in Lorain County. The assessment was conducted by the Altarum, a health research and consulting firm and authorized by NFF.
The community assessment has four goals to solve the opioid epidemic. The county would like to define the magnitude of the opioid crisis and related problems; identify any existing resources for addiction treatment services in the county; see what is needed to improve resources for substance abuse treatment; and what can be done to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis on the community.
A survey was given to county residents as well as a scan of local substance abuse treatment centers and resources being offered. The county also conducted interviews and focus groups to determine the opinions on the matter from healthcare professionals to law enforcement.
According to the assessment, 11.5 percent of residents in Lorain County indicated prescription opioid abuse over the last year. It was also highlighted that opioid use was the reason for 2,691 emergency room visits in 2016 in the county.
The substance abuse treatment scan illustrated that while there are 18 substance abuse treatment centers in the county, not one of them offers inpatient addiction treatment or detox services. The findings also revealed a very limited amount of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) available in Lorain County.
The scan indicated that there is only one substance abuse treatment center for women while no specific drug abuse recovery center only for men.
The focus group revealed that there are obstacles to people looking for addiction treatment in Lorain County, including increased delays. Lack of awareness and deficient funding was also identified as a key issue among the county.
Due to the findings, Lorain County is instigating more addiction treatment programs and peer recovery coaches across the county. The county also is looking into expanding their MAT services, including increased access to naloxone.
If the tax measure is approved by the voters, it could raise up to $2 million yearly. Officials stated that an owner of a $100,000 house would pay $10.50 in extra property taxes if the measure passes.
The drug addiction recovery center will be in the old location of Golden Acres Nursing Home.