Drug, alcohol program office back downtown

STEUBENVILLE – The Jefferson Behavioral Health System has moved its drug and alcohol abuse services back downtown to an office at 525 N. Fourth St.

The Community Outreach Recovery Environment, or C.O.R.E., replaces the former CARE Network after its funding was cut. The counseling services were moved to the main behavioral health system office at Trinity Medical Center West.

“We need to have a presence here downtown,” said Kim Vich, behavioral health system drug and alcohol administrator. “We are excited and happy to be back here,” she said.

The office opened March 10.

Vich said many of the clients live on the hilltops or in the downtown area.

Many of the clients are referred to C.O.R.E. by the court systems, whether municipal or common pleas court.

C.O.R.E. offers intensive outpatient recovery services for drug and alcohol abuse. There also is an opiate group and a Suboxone clinic for recovering heroin addicts, operated by Dr. Francis Sunseri, medical director. Vich said about 80 percent of the clients are opiate dependent.

Vich said C.O.R.E. also will be starting anger management therapy at the request of the court systems.

The four therapists each average 70-80 clients.

There is a prevention educator, Catheine Sanders, who works in the community about drug and alcohol abuse prevention, Vich said. C.O.R.E. is working to establish a school curriculum about alcohol and drug abuse in Toronto and Steubenville city schools. She said she is hoping to get other school districts in the program.

Vich added C.O.R.E. is working to expand services to the youth, whether for alcohol and drug dependency or support groups for children of addict parents.

Vich said the county needs an inpatient facility in the county. She said recovering addicts are being referred to out-of-county facilities for inpatient treatment.

Funding is difficult to obtain for treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient. She said more clients are getting a state medical card that provides funding for treatment. Some clients do have private insurance.

“We do have charity care. There is always help. We never turn anyone away,” she said.

C.O.R.E. can be contacted at (740) 314-8195. Office hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.