General Assembly, Governor’s task force aid local efforts

(July 12, 2019) — Allen County’s most ambitious effort yet to combat substance use disorder was launched today.

At three locations in Allen County a total of 71 new sober living beds are now open to help treat people fighting substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. Representatives from Allen Superior Court, Allen Circuit Court, Allen County Community Corrections, Allen County Adult Probation, the Allen County Board of Commissioners, The Lutheran Foundation, Park Center, Redemption House, and Shepherd’s House worked collectively for more than two years to bring the project to fruition.

The pilot project’s new sober living beds operate at three different levels of care as outlined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Fifteen new beds, which will serve both men and women, located at Park Center on Carew Street will provide clinically managed high-intensity residential services. The new Redemption House facility, on East Wayne Street, will provide 16 vital new, female recovery residence beds for the criminal justice system. Twenty beds will be provided at Choices Treatment Centre on Spy Run featuring clinically low-intensity residential services, which is unique to our community. The program focuses on teaching recovery skills, preventing relapse and improving emotional functions. Choices will also provide twenty new, male recovery residence beds.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and tour took place at one of the new facilities, Choices at 1610 Spy Run Avenue, today to help kick off the new level of recovery services now available in Allen County for justice involved individuals.

These new treatment beds are the result of a pilot project authorized under Senate Enrolled Act 510, passed during the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly. SEA 510 followed a recommendation from the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment & Prevention, on which Judge Davis served.

“The scope of the overall drug addiction problem in Allen County is astonishing by any measure,” said Allen Superior Court Judge Wendy Davis. “These substances are addictive in ways that challenge the best ideas and the strongest individuals – and the resources at our disposal to help them. The 71 beds we’re dedicating today provide an expansive new set of options for those best served by treatment in the justice system.”

Judge Davis added that Allen County was chosen as the site of the SEA 510 pilot project due to the robust infrastructure within the Allen County criminal justice system, including alternative sentencing programs and problem-solving courts. The State of Indiana awarded Allen County a $1.5 million grant for the program, which is being supplemented by locally raised matching funds, including support from members of Allen County Council.

Many individuals arrested for substance use disorder related offenses are non-violent offenders who respond positively to treatment in conjunction with community-based supervision. This initiative saves costly jail space and offers the best hope of returning citizens to their families and to productive lives.

“The addiction crisis is an issue that is highly personal and demands a localized, community response,” the Allen County Board of Commissioners said. “Through innovative substance addiction research and treatment models, such as the pilot program we are highlighting today, individuals in crisis in both rural and urban areas are being connected with the appropriate services.”

The 71 new beds have been created for the exclusive use of Allen County criminal justice involved individuals. Participants in the pilot must be 18 years of age, under the supervision of the courts or a local criminal justice agency and have a substance use disorder. Dr. Brad Ray of Wayne State University has been contracted to evaluate the pilot and reporting his findings annually back to the Indiana General Assembly’s Legislative Council.


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