Letter: Agency directs funding to ease opiate crisis

The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County would like to recognize The Dispatch for Tuesday’s editorial about efforts by Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague and Ohio Auditor Keith Faber to apply new approaches and ways of thinking to government. Like private companies, government agencies should use business analytics to drive their decision making. Both elected officials are applying this approach as it relates to mental health and substance use disorder investments.

Government must constantly evolve to keep up with the dynamic changes in our community, especially as it relates to population migration and growth. ADAMH is fully supportive of the auditor’s recommendation to make shifts in funding based on a community’s need. Population changes in each of our local communities affect the prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders, impacting the services and funding needed to support the population shift.

At a local level, ADAMH employs a data-driven process through our annual business plan, identifying key metrics to measure our progress throughout the year and identify any gaps and challenges.

ADAMH began funding the Mobile Opiate Crisis Team in 2016. This connected clinicians at the Southeast mental health center with Columbus Division of Fire EMS when responding to overdoses. After monitoring the program, we funded an expansion in 2018 to include all of the emergency departments in Franklin County. The program had better results after making this enhancement, giving Southeast the opportunity to engage with 1,522 individuals and link 770 of them with follow up services last year.

What gets measured, gets done.

David A. Royer, chief executive officer, ADAMH Board of Franklin County, Columbus

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