YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

Responding to ‘what happens to jailed drug addicts?’

To the editor:

A letter to the editor published Feb. 9 on this page asked the question, “What happens to jailed drug addicts?” The writer made the statement, “They aren’t getting any rehab, help to get off drugs, encouragement to change, anything they need to want to change and live.”

As the executive director of Family Recovery Center, I can tell you what is actually happening. Behavioral health services are provided at the Columbiana Country Jail by Family Recovery Center and the Counseling Center.

Staff from these two agencies provide assesments and counseling. Our agency’s medical director provides Medication Assisted Treatment (Vivitrol) to incarcerated individuals. This has been happening for several years.

Most recently, the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board is a participant in the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CJBH) Linkage project, which seeks to reduce the numbers of persons incarcerated with serious mental illnesses and/or addiction disorders. The CJBH project serves persons whose criminal cases are handled by the county courts and are housed at the Columbiana County Jail.

As part of this project, Family Recovery Center has provided a clinicians and re-entry specialist at the jail. The services that are provided at the jail include screening all incarcerated persons within three days of entry for a mental health, addiction or co-occurring disorder; conducting a comprehensive behavioral health assesment of anyone identified as having one or more behavioral disorders; providing individualized treatment planning; providing jail-based treatment services; and developing and implementing a comprehensive re-entry plan while an individual is incarcerated and continuing post-release.

It is our hope that his project will lead to a reduction in the number of rule violations and disciplinary actions during incarceration and a reduction in recidivism, while ensuring both appropriate behavioral health services in the jail and the client’s successful re-entry into society after incarceration.

ELOISE V. TRAINA,

Director, Family Recovery Center

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