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Wayne County battles drug addiction with mobile van

by WayneTimes.com
September 28, 2019

It has been just over a year since the Department of Mental Health, Wayne Behavioral Health Network opened the doors of the Open Access Center, an out-treatment facility located at the Public Health Building on Nye Road in Lyons.

The team of drug experts are providing support and care to those with a heroin, opioid or any other addition issues, as well as mental health problems.

Now, the new mobile van is visiting sites throughout the County to take the battle against drug addiction right to the drug addicts. According to Wayne County Mental Health Director, James Haitz, for every 10 people suffering from drug addition, only one person seeks addiction at a brick and mortar facility for help. “Now we can get around to the other 9 people,” said Haitz.

The Director emphasized that the new, clearly marked van is not an ambulance, nor emergency service, rather a vehicle providing a mobile clinic where assessments of drug addicts can be made and interviews conducted. The van includes a bathroom where drug screening samples can be taken, a refrigeration for needed medications and has tele-health communication for remote availability in case a medical professional is not on board.

The entire Open Access and mobile van initiative COTI (Center Of Treatment Innovation) was made possible by a 2018-- $2.2 grant passed down to the County from the State, through a federal drug initiative program. The van itself, cost $85,000 and will work in tandem with the Open Access Center.

The grant paid for the entire program, including staffing. It currently visits sites throughout the County, making the public aware of the program availability. It has also transported addicts back to the Open Access center for treatment.

According to Haitz, the first anniversary of the program has served over 300 people the Mental Health, Wayne Behavioral Health Network had never seen before.

The van has travelled to the County Fair, various Health Fairs, farmer’s markets and events throughout the county just to raise public awareness. The idea is to remove any barriers and make

“We don’t care what your problem is. The drug problem is not over by any means. Unfortunately we are still seeing overdose deaths in our community. The drug problem is not over by any means, emphasized the Director.

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