Under the Lorain County Pre- and Post-Release Project, we have the opportunity to work with those currently incarcerated both leading up to their release and immediately following their release. We provide peer support to inmates at both the Lorain County Jail and Community Based Correction Facility (CBCF).
While being incarcerated can temporarily suspend drug usage this does not address the underlying issues of addition. Providing peer support to those, who will be released in the near future or were recently released provides them with the emotional support tools they need to stay clean and begin a long-term recovery plan.
LINC in conjunction with our partners at the ADAS Board of Lorain County, Lorain County Public Health, Nord Center, Nord Family Foundation, Let's Get Real, LCADA Way, Firelands Counseling, University Hospitals and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation will begin a bi-weekly Harm Reduction Clinic on March 8, 2019. The Clinic, which will run from 1PM-4PM at Wellington United Methodists Church, 127 Park Place, Wellington, Ohio 44090, will provide harm reduction supplies to those in need.
In our attempt to provide options for recovery to those suffering addiction, The LINC Harm Reduction Clinic will offer the following services:
-Access to drug rehabilitation centers
-Resources for family, friends and significant others who are trying to cope with loved ones suffering from addiction
-HIV and STD testing
-Safe disposal and replacement of used syringes
-Other medical services
We believe our LINC Harm Reduction Clinic will bring more people into our successful treatment program by offering immediate counseling and rehabilitation to those ready to make that choice. If they are not ready yet, we want to reduce the chances of them struggling with other health issues while they make their decisions to choose recovery. Our goal is to support a healthy lifestyle or provide healthy alternatives to those struggling with addiction as we work regularly with them to choose freedom from this struggle. We also offer family and friend support to those with loved ones struggling with addiction.
We know that the harm reduction is equally important to our residents as we have struggled with used byproducts being left in public places. Additionally, Hepatitis, HIV and AIDS reduction will help protect those innocent victims who may come across byproducts that may leave them with debilitating, lifelong health concerns by accidental exposure.
Reports and studies unanimously support the conclusions that harm reduction programs reduce HIV/AIDS and hepatitis transmission and none have found that collecting and providing supplies caused rates of drug use to increase. Additionally, many studies affirm that these programs help to encourage and facilitate entry into treatment programs and healthy lifestyle changes
People having questions about this program or who are ready for immediate detox and recovery are encouraged to call 440-647-2244 (Wellington Police) or walk into the Wellington Police, Wellington Fire or South Lorain County Ambulance District Offices for immediate access to resources.
The police assisted project is an effort to involve local law enforcement in the process of getting those addicted to drugs off the streets and into rehabilitation.
The underlying goal needs to be to get those addicted to alcohol and drugs on the road to recovery. With the police assisted project, anyone struggle with addiction who wants help can walk into a participating police station and ask for help with the threat of being arrested.
The police department will then contact us and a certified peer supporter will be sent out within 75 minutes. Similarly to our WHO project, this is considered a crisis management project, which means there are peer supporters available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
Currently, we are working with the Wellington Policed Department, the Lorain Police Department, and the Elyria police Department. We also provided feedback for organizations in Huron County to start a similar program modeled after ours with the Norwalk Police Department.
The below article is from the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas website, and it details the Lorain County Recovery Court Program. There have been several successful graduations for clients that have gone through the entire program and were able to move on as a productive member of society in long-term recovery.
We provide peer supporters for this program. Specifically, we have four dedicated peers, who each have a list of clients through the Recovery Court Program.
Our peers meet with their clients each week to provide ongoing support and help. This may include taking them to appointments or shopping, ensuring they are doing what they need to be doing; getting to meetings and getting their community service hours complete. Throughout all of their interactions, our peers provide emotional support and advise on their road to recovery.
Lorain County Recovery Court (Felony Drug Court)
The Lorain County Recovery Court began in the fall of 2015 after receiving certification from the Ohio Supreme Court to operate this special court. Judge John R. Miraldi was appointed to preside over the court. Initial participants were accepted into the program in September 2015. The program is geared toward the opiate addicted person whose behavior has resulted in felony criminal charges. The goal of the recovery court program is to address the offender’s addiction through a comprehensive assessment and the implementation of a specific treatment plan. Success is determined by a sobriety that breaks the cycle of criminal activity and restores the individual to the family and community as a peaceful and productive member
The recovery court utilizes experienced treatment providers in the community including drug addiction counselors, recovery coaches residential sober living homes, mental health providers and medication assisted treatment for the opiate addict.
Recovery (Drug) Court Works
For over two decades, Drug Courts have led the charge towards a more humane, cost effective justice system. Research demonstrates that Drug Courts provide a highly effective alternative to incarceration for individuals whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in serious addiction to drugs. By keeping drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment Drug Courts have been proven to reduce drug abuse and crime while saving money. The scientific community has put Drug Courts under a microscope and concluded that Drug Courts work. Better than jail or prison. Better than probation and treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy. (National Association of Drug Court Professionals)
Generally speaking, eligible felonies must be a lower level offense of either the 4th or 5th degree. The offense cannot be drug trafficking if the felony level is of the 4th degree or higher, nor can it be an offense of violence or a sexually oriented offense. Opiate addiction must be a substantial factor in committing the criminal offense.
There are two “tracks” for Recovery Court, Intervention Track and Non-Intervention Track. The main difference is that successful completion of the Intervention Track will result in the dismissal of your pending charges. This is not the case on the Non- Intervention Track.
After three years of trying to have this project for Lorain County, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Mercy Allen in Oberlin, and Cleveland Clinic in Avon were brave enough to work with us on the Warm Hand Off Project, which started in 2017. This project gave us the opportunity to reach people struggling with addiction when they are in most need of help and compassion.
Under this project, when someone enters the emergency room presenting with either an overdose or a drug or alcohol-related issue, we are given the opportunity to send a certified peer supporter to the hospital to meet with the individual.
Our certified peer supporters utilize their personal experience with addiction and recovery to connect with the individual on a personal level and give them the opportunity to seek help. If the individual is open to being helped, the peer supporter with the support of our outreach office will start the process of finding an appropriate detox or treatment center for the individual.
The facility chosen is based on a wide range of factors including the primary drug being used, the individual’s insurance, and other mitigating factors that may be present such as mental or physical illness.
Our peers also work to remove all barriers that may prevent the individual from seeking treatment. This may include helping the individual get new identification if they do not have license or birth certificate, taking them to Job and Family Services to apply for Medicaid, or even taking them shopping so they have clothes and personal care items to take with them.
Our peers will also talk to significant others and family members to help encourage everyone supporting the individual’s decision to get help. Our peers will provide family members with information about our family support group that meets in our office.
Finally, once all the arrangements are made, our peer supporters drive the individual to detox and stay with them until they are admitted. Once they are in detox, the peer will start working on arranging a treatment center for them to go directly to from detox.
Our peers continue working with the individual ass long as they are committed to their recovery.
WHO is considered an emergency project because we may get calls at all hours of the day or night to meet with a new individual. This means our peers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are constantly on-call and ready to go.
We currently have four peers that work on our WHO project.
Warm Hand Off (WHO)
We currently work with local hospitals under the Warm Hand Off Project responding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to these services, our Warm Hand Off project with local hospitals demonstrates our proficiency in navigation and referral to local treatment providers. The success of our navigational assistance from the ER to detox or treatment has proven the overall effectiveness of the project. Kathy Brunner is the program coordinator for this project. She is available for your questions; however, it is the outreach coordinator’s job to assist the CPRS during office hours. There are currently six CPRSs that work in this program.
Lorain County Recovery Court
Under the Lorain County Recovery Court project, our peers connect on a regular basis with participants and work hand-in-hand with P.O. court officials, recovery houses, and treatment providers to enhance the likelihood of successful outcomes for the client.
We work with Lise Day from the Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Board (ADAS), who is the coordinator for this project. There are four CPRSs who engage with participants in this program.
Police Assisted Project (PAP)
Under this project, CPRSs respond with 75 minutes to calls from participating police stations throughout Lorain County. This program is similar to WHO in that we consider it one of our emergency projects and peers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any one looking for help with their addiction can go into a participating police station, ask for help, and they will contact us immediately.
Individuals in need of our assistance that do not fit under the requirements of the above programs are still provided with CPRS services. This are the people that do not come to us through the hospitals, courts or police stations. Often times they are referred to us or call our office and ask for help. We also connect with them through the Lorain County Harm Reduction Program and the Pre- and Post-Release program with CBCF.