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Local Health Agencies Get More Funds, Expand Services For Drug Addiction


Two local health agencies are expanding their services for people dealing with serious addiction to heroin and other opiates.



Montgomery County Commissioners have approved more than $3.5 million dollars in new funding to Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.


Jodi Long is the director of behavioral health medicine for ADAMHS. She hopes the expanded services will help Montgomery Co. which is already 2nd in the state for overdoses.


“And we know that we’re on target to exceed the number of overdose deaths in Montgomery County compared to last year at the same time.”


In 2015, state legislators updated the Ohio Revised Code, which covers the statutory requirements for alcohol, drug and mental health boards. The expanded services stem from those new requirements.


Both agencies will offer a new outpatient detox program that will help about 1040 people annually, and the expansion of a new 24/7 CrisisCare program for patients who have been saved by the anti-overdose medicine NARCAN.


The money will also help double the number of residential hospital beds for patients in withdrawal, and provide new recovery housing for pregnant women.



Long agrees that funding to fight the growing problem of addiction and drug overdoses is tough and the new county funding will help.


She adds that, while ADAMHS doesn't provide direct services, the health agencies in their network have been fortunate that residents in Montgomery County have been extremely supportive of the of the county's Combined Human Services Levy.


Long says having those funding sources has allowed Montgomery County to be innovative in structuring new initiatives to fight heroin and drug addiction.


In 2014, the number of drug overdose deaths in Ohio rose to 4,482 - up from 2110 deaths in 2013.


Rising use of the drug Fentanyl is believed to be responsible for much of the increase.




Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.