Preble County MHRB receives funding to combat opioid epidemic

By Eddie Mowen -

CINCINNATI — Last week, U.S. Senator Rob Portman announced that $110,573 in federal opioid funding through the 21st Century CURES law has been distributed to the Preble County Mental Health and Recovery Board. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction disbursed a total of $26 million through local ADAMH boards and statewide initiatives. This is the second year in a row Ohio has received opioid funding that Portman helped secure in the CURES law Congress enacted in 2016.

“This is terrific news for Preble County, and these new funds will help the community’s efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state,” Portman said. “I was proud to help secure the opioid funding included in the CURES legislation, and I have seen firsthand how this law is making a difference across our state. This is another positive step forward, but we must do more, and that’s why I continue to push for common-sense solutions like the STOP Act and CARA 2.0 that will help us turn the tide of addiction in Ohio and around the country.”

“The Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board is using the funding for two different services,” Amy Raynes, Executive Director for the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board, said on Monday, Aug. 13.

“First, the Perinatal Program which includes residential treatment, prevention education, and case management (after residential treatment). The Perinatal Program is a holistic approach to provide substance abuse services to pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, and their partners,” Raynes explained. “Pregnant women that are struggling with addiction or are at high risk for chemical dependency count on Sojourner’s perinatal staff to provide support and assistance throughout the entire prenatal process. Comprehensive services are provided through labor, delivery, and home visits up to one year postpartum.”

According to Raynes, the other service the Cures funding will provide for is a contract assessor.

“It is important for those needing substance abuse services be assessed immediately when requested,” Raynes said. “These dollars will provide for an assessor to be readily available for both those seeking treatment in the community and those in the Preble County Jail.”

“PCMHRB is very thankful to Senator Portman for his hard work and dedication to secure funding for counties with high drug overdose deaths,” Raynes said. “PCMHRB will continue to focus on reducing gaps in services and increase positive recovery outcomes for Preble County residents with substance use disorders.”

The funding originates from the 21st Century CURES legislation enacted in December 2016 that provided $1 billion over two years nationally to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic. Portman urged that opioid funding be included in the CURES package, and the funding awarded to states can be used for improving prescription drug monitoring programs, prevention, training for health care workers, and improving access to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder.

This funding complements the additional resources Portman has secured through his Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) legislation and the additional $3 billion in opioid funding in the bipartisan budget agreement enacted earlier this year. Increasing funding is just one aspect of Portman’s efforts to combat this epidemic. The House recently passed Portman’s bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which would help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the U.S., and Portman is urging the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible. In addition, Portman’s bipartisan CARA 2.0 Act was designed to build on the success of CARA and provide additional resources and strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis.

By Eddie Mowen

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.