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County Sees Increase in Residential Addiction Treatment

The Kenton County Fiscal Court listened to an update on Transitions, the organization that helps people overcome addiction. The number of people seeking assistance has increased substantially.

Executive Director Jim Beiting said that there were 96 people evaluated at the Erlanger facility in February, where 67 tested positive for polysubstance, such as methamphetamine, marijuana, and fentanyl, and 27 tested positive for just one substance.

"That is more methamphetamine than we are used to seeing," Beiting said.

Drug screen results from April 27 to May 10 this year showed 55 individuals evaluated, and while 12 tested positive for polysubstance, 43 tested positive for a single substance.

Clinical intake numbers showed that from December 2018 to March of 2019 compared to the same statistics from December 2019 to March of 2020 the numbers definitely increased. The number of admissions to managed withdrawal in the first time period was 197, as compared to the second time period which was 571. Similarly, the number of admissions to residential was 109, and this year it came out to 483.

The number of assessments in managed withdrawal in the first times period  was 66 as opposed to the second time period, which was 242.  The number of assessments in residential during the first time period was 118, and during the second period was 363.

Beiting was pleased to tell the court that they don't have to turn anyone away now because they don't have enough beds.

Jason Merrick, from the Kenton County Detention Center, said that they have been able to reduce the number of inmates due to early release prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, and approximately 100 of those inmates went to Transitions. 

In other news, Kenton County Public Works Director Nick Hendrix said that he expects a $6,000 decrease in the amount of state road aid funding due to a drop in gas tax collection. Fewer people are driving because of the stay-at-home orders, or because of job losses or reduced hours.

Hendrix said that despite the reduction, the county should still be able to resurface Moffett and Visalia roads.

The county also plans to seek matching federal funds for the widening and realignment of KY 536 from U.S. 25 to State Road 1303. Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann said that this will be the third attempt to land such funds. Both the county and City of Independence have pledged money for the project.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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