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Costs for drug treatment triple in Columbiana County over five years

By D.A. Wilkinson

Sunday, April 12, 2009

By D.a. Wilkinson

LISBON — The cost of drug treatment in Columbiana County has almost tripled in the last five years.

The cost has risen from $476,603 in 2004 to $1.26 million in 2008.

But that’s good news because it shows people are seeking the help they need, said officials with the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

Figures provided by Kathleen Chaffee, the board’s associate director, shows that in 2004, some 658 clients sought help for all forms of chemical abuse, as compared with 999 clients in 2008.

Chaffee said that alcohol remains by far the highest drug of abuse in the county.

Cocaine was the second-highest drug of abuse in the county from 2004 through 2007.

Opiates, which include heroin and prescription drugs, made their first appearance at the bottom of the list of drugs in 2007. “They weren’t even on the radar screen two or three years ago,” Chaffee said.

In 2008, opiates became the second-highest drug of abuse behind alcohol. And the number of alcohol abuse cases in 2008 is lower than the years going back to 2005, she added.

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