The Four County ADAMhs Board approved $36,000 to help establish a new Fulton County drug court that will be administered through Common Pleas Judge Jeff Robinson. The Ohio Supreme Court authorized the creation of the specialized court docket last month.
Through the court, persons who are charged with a drug or alcohol offense and meet eligibility criteria can be considered for participation.
As a condition for participation, the person agrees to a number of conditions that include strict adherence to the treatment plan, mandatory drug screening, no use of drugs or alcohol while in the program, regular meetings with the treatment team to monitor treatment plan compliance and progress, and more.
If the participant fails to follow the treatment plan at any time, the judge has the option of ordering the participant to fulfill the jail time that would have been imposed for the offense.
McCaslin noted that Williams County common pleas Judge J.T. Stelzer has been operating a drug court docket for nearly a year now. And, the ADAMhs Board has helped fund some of the costs of that court as well.
The emphasis of a drug court is on treatment rather than incarceration. So, the key to its success is in screening for participants who are considered good candidates who are committed to a lifestyle change.
In addition to avoiding jail, participants who follow the treatment plan can keep their jobs if they had one. For those who didn’t have a job, the getting and holding a job can become part of the treatment plan.
Recent research compiled by Case Western Reserve University for the Cuyahoga County drug courts indicated that 56 percent of the participants completed the program successfully between 2009 and 2013. And, only 8.4 percent had been re-arrested after 12 months compared to 27 percent of a similar group that had not participated in drug court.
In addition to reducing the likelihood of re-arrest, the Ohio Supreme Court encourages the specialized drug court dockets to promote a clean and sober lifestyle that is difficult to achieve without the close monitoring and collaboration between the court and treatment provider that the drug court provides.
Erica Burkholder is the Fulton County drug court coordinator.
In other action at the Thursday (March 9) ADAMhs Board meeting, the board approved an additional $3,000 allocation to A Renewed Mind to provide an office budget for the Defiance County Drug-Free Coalition that is now located in A Renewed Mind’s office complex on East Second Street in Defiance.
An additional $4,000 was approved for the Henry County Family Court because of the increased number of families that come before the court who need behavioral health assessments.
Up to $12,000 was approved for an adult residential placement.
Kathy Helmke, the director of Comprehensive Crisis Care, told the board that the 10 bed adult crisis stabilization unit will open Wednesday, March 15.
It was also noted that ADAMhs Board member Heather Kost has submitted her resignation because she has accepted a job with the University of Michigan.
Following the meeting, the board members participated in their annual training. This year, Dr. Warren Calvin, chief clinical officer for Health Partners of Western Ohio, explained opiate addiction and the various ways that it has been treated.