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Safe Places Cincy pilot program to help connect people to substance abuse treatment

Mar 22, 2019

On March 18, Cincinnati City Councilwoman Amy Murray, Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore and Interact for Health President and CEO Dr. O’dell Owens introduced Safe Places Cincy, a pilot program to proactively address addiction issues in our community.

Safe Places Cincy is filling a need: “We know that many of our treatment providers have space available,” said Dr. Owens, “but sometimes people can have trouble accessing the various treatment programs. Safe Places Cincy is about making connections between those struggling with addiction and substance abuse treatment providers.”

Here’s how the program works:

  • Those struggling with addiction can walk into City of Cincinnati Health Centers during business hours.
  • Specially trained health department staff will evaluate each person, doing a basic assessment of his or her health and treatment needs.
  • If the individual needs emergency care, he/she will be transported to a local hospital.
  • If the individual does not need hospital-level care, health department staff will work with one of three treatment providers (Talbert House, Center for Addiction Treatment or BrightView) to connect the person with treatment.
  • The person will then be transported to the treatment facility via UberHealth. Funding for the rides is being provided by a $10,000 grant from Interact for Health.

“Finding and navigating treatment can often be incredibly difficult for those struggling with addiction,” Murray said. “We are hoping this will be proactive in our fight against addiction by connecting those who want help to treatment.”

The program is for anyone with substance abuse addiction, not just those using opioids.  It is open to people who live in Hamilton County or are eligible for Ohio Medicaid.

The Safe Places Cincy program is a logical role for public health, said Cincinnati Health Commissioner Moore. “We hope to build a more compassionate, educated health care system. Our staff already understand issues presented to first responders such as compassion fatigue. Our health care teams work with patients that present some challenging health issues. We hope the Safe Places Cincy program presents a way for them to feel like they are part of the solution to this epidemic.”

For more information about Safe Places Cincy, please call 513-357-7320 or visit www.safeplacescincy.org.

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