Local authorities are considering $1.2 million in funding requests from various efforts to combat and treat substance use disorders in Bartholomew County as overdose deaths continue at a rapid pace record.
The Drug Addiction Public Funding Council plans to meet at Columbus City Hall on Tuesday to consider 2023 funding applications from numerous county-wide efforts to help those struggling with substance abuse disorders. substance abuse, including the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress (ASAP) and other efforts in the criminal justice system.
The funding board will decide whether to recommend that Columbus City Council and Bartholomew County Council approve funding applications, said Mary Ferdon, the city’s executive director of administration and community development.
“If the Public Funding Council makes a recommendation to approve funding for (the) town and county councils, the recommended funding amount is a 50/50 split between the two entities,” Ferdon said. “…City and Town Councils would independently approve this amount, 50%, in their respective budgets for next year.”
The Funding Council is comprised of Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Columbus Regional Health President and CEO Jim Bickel, and other city and county elected officials.
Request as soon as possible
Total request: $555,380
Opened in September 2019, the ASAP Center at the Doug Otto United Way Building provides the resources needed to recover from addiction, including referrals to existing programs. The hub also helps navigate healthcare, insurance systems, resources to connect to community services, and even the basics of getting food, housing, and transportation.
ASAP also has two recovery homes for men and one for women with a combined total of 28 beds, ASAP executive director Sherri Jewett told the substance abuse advisory and accountability committee earlier this month.
The requested funds include, among other things, $327,060 for salaries, $125,307 for benefits, $21,600 for rent and $35,450 for legal, IT and other professional services, according to figures Jewett has. presented to the committee.
ASAP has also received about $800,000 in grants for this year and 2023 that target specific populations and activities, including seniors and Black, Indigenous and people of color, Jewett said.
Grants also include outreach, transportation for sober residents, as well as helping Jackson and Jennings counties develop substance use plans.
Total request: $229,780
Inspired by a successful community corrections program for women, the goal of Recovery Enables a Life for Men (REALM) is to provide comprehensive, evidence-based residential treatment that focuses on the needs of male offenders in matter of drug addiction.
Since REALM began in early 2010, 68 inmates have participated, 66% of whom have completed the program or are still actively participating, according to Bartholomew County Community Corrections Director Rob Gaskill. The remaining 34% have been withdrawn from the program.
The extra money being sought for next year would provide pay raises for two residential workers and a case manager, Gaskill said.
Adult Drug Recovery Court (DRC)
Total request: $248,195
The Bartholomew County Adult Drug Recovery Court integrates evidence-based drug treatment, mandatory drug testing, punishment, incentives, and transition services. The goal is to reduce recidivism and substance abuse among those at high risk or in need, Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin has said in previous interviews.
Much of the increase in requested funding is due to the expiration of a federal grant, Benjamin told the Advisory and Accountability Committee on Substance Abuse earlier this month. The funding request also includes a 5% salary increase.
As of July 11, there have been 19 graduates from the program, Benjamin said. Among these graduates, only one was arrested again. As of July 15, 25 people were currently enrolled in the program and there were plans to admit three or four new people over the next month.
Addiction treatment program in prison
Total request: $189,414
Opened in early 2020, the Bartholomew County Jail Addiction Treatment Program (BART) provides treatment for non-violent offenders with historical addiction disorders and mental illness. Candidates who meet the criteria receive group and individual therapy for up to 16 weeks. Upon graduation, they receive treatment for an additional 6-12 weeks.
To date, there have been 122 participants in the program, Bartholomew County Chief Deputy Maj. Chris Lane told the Substance Abuse Advisory and Accountability Committee earlier this month.
Of those, 106 completed the program and 39 completed the prison follow-up program, Lane said.
The decrease in funding sought is largely due to staff reductions in Bartholomew County, Lane said.
“We’ve been able to run the program successfully, I believe, up to this point where we’re confident we can do it with a team of two,” Lane told the Substance Abuse Advisory and Accountability Committee.