PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – A proposal in Portsmouth has sparked a citywide discussion about addiction treatment and recovery facilities. It was first introduced by Mayor Sean Dunne in April, and aims at establishing a mandatory standard of care for residents of those facilities.
In April, administrators at The Counseling Center expressed their support for the proposal. However, not all facilities are in favor of it.
“Our position is that we want to be a good neighbor to the city of Portsmouth,” said Jay Hash.
Hash is the CEO of Hopesource in Portsmouth. His organization provides mental health and addiction treatment services at multiple facilities around the city. After reading through the proposal, Hash was not a fan.
“This is going to create a department in the government and levy fees against facilities that are already doing a great job,” Hash said.
The proposal requires organizations like Hopesource to register with the city annually, charging $10,000 per facility and $250 per bed. Hopesource operates six facilities and Hash says that will be a huge chunk of change that he would rather spent on resources for his clients.
“That’s going to harm us, harm our position, and harm our ability to help the citizens of Portsmouth and Scioto County, which is our main priority,” Hash said.
Mayor Dunne hosted a public hearing in regards to the proposal on April 30th. Dunne says he is open to all opinions and welcomes input from the community.
In a statement sent to WSAZ on Thursday, Dunne says:
“As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’d be happy to adjust the fee to be a percentage of gross income. In the current situation, city government should establish standards of care due to the inaction of state government and to protect a vulnerable population.”
However, Hash does not believe it is the city government’s place to decide what kind of care is adequate and acceptable.
“There are other places where it absolutely is there job to do that, such as the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the local Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Services Board, the Department of Medicaid, Council of Social Worker and Marriage Therapy Board , and the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board,” Hash said.
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