In light of the opioid and substance abuse crisis across the country and specifically in Livingston County, two grants will help a non-profit serve individuals and families who struggle with addiction.

Livingston County Catholic Charities (LCCC) recently secured two grants to support substance abuse treatment services as many clients are not able to afford treatment services or pay high insurance deductibles. The grants include $26,787 from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation and $20,000 from the CPPS Heritage Mission Fund. The non-profit offers outpatient treatment and provides both individual and group counseling for Livingston County residents struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Catholic Charities will use the monies to fill in gaps in funding for substance abuse counseling services that they offer on a sliding scale for the uninsured. They will also assist with gaps experienced due to lower third-party insurer’s provider reimbursement contract rates. Individual sessions cost LCCC $83.77, while the average client only pays $45.66.

Executive Director Mark Robinson tells WHMI the grants will help fill in some of the voids for people who maybe don’t qualify for a government program but also don’t have private insurance or don’t have sufficient resources to pay for counseling. He says some of the people they serve kind of fall through the cracks and struggle to pay for services, so the two grant awards will greatly help. Robinson noted that Catholic Charities Substance Abuse Treatment program serves the entire community regardless of race, religion, age, gender, disability and financial ability. He says they see people with fairly diverse addiction histories. While alcohol is still the number one addiction they see, he says heroin and prescription opioids have become number two – adding heroin and opioid use really used to be much lower.

Livingston County Catholic Charities is the only mental health and substance abuse counseling facility in the county with a sliding scale and only 1 of 3 that serve Medicaid clients. This means there are limited options that the poor, working poor, and uninsured have for substance abuse treatment locally. Last fiscal year, 61% of individuals and families in LCCC’s Substance Abuse Treatment program were at or below 150% of the national poverty level. It was noted that treatment helps individuals and families struggling with addiction related issues to lead a healthier, safer and more productive life. Additionally successful treatment also leads to decreases in the crime rate, law enforcement encounters, jail population and state and family financial burdens. (MK/JM)