Counties in Pennsylvania Running Out of Treatment Funds Months Early  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

05/01/2015 -ATIN - Counties all over the country, especially in states like Illinois and in some places in New England as well as the Deep South, are running out of funding to send those who have no means to go to treatment, funding that was budgeted to last in most cases until mid-year when most non-profits close their books coinciding with state fiscal years, which typically start on July 1. In the latest reports, two counties in Pennsylvania, Cumberland and Perry counties, officials in charge of assessing need and making referrals are testifying before financial committees that it has been weeks since they have been able to send the most desperate cases for any kind of inpatient care, or for those who need "step down" care after treatment in sober living there has been no money for halfway houses either.

Big Increase in Demand and Big Cuts in Funding

According reports in the local press, officials running the Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission told county legislators this week that the trend for the last several years is for rising large numbers of desperate people who are dually addicted to heroin and prescription medication to be seeking help while over the past decade funding to the commission has been cut by $140K. Local funds account for less than 10 percent of the commission's budget, while the state and federal government provide the rest. Pennsylvania.Gov. Tom Wolf has provided for an increase in funding for treatment starting July 1, but addictions officials in Cumberland and Perry counties are budgeting flat for next year given the legislature's poor response to the governor's budget for the upcoming fiscal year, according to reports. And the Cumberland-Perry commission says it is still will providing some detox care this year as well as out-patient care, acording to reports.

Same in County after County

It's been the same in county after county in pockets all over the country. And in Cumberland and Perry counties in Pennsylvania there has been no money for treatment for the indigent for six weeks who are deemed to urgently need inpatient care and there's still two months left until new monies arrive July 1 in the state's new fiscal year budget, meaning the really down and out who need inpatient aren't likely to get any this year.There have been the same desperate tales from South Florida, Springfield, IL and New Hampshire and many other places, all with a slightly different twist but all showing that politicians in a lot of states still don't "get it" when the Centers for Disease Control writes urgent reports to explain that the numbers are showing we are in the middle of an "epidemic" of addiction that is getting worse and worse..

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Ted Jackson


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