Hamilton County's leaders aren't counting on help from the state to build an opioid diversion center. Commissioners passed a motion directing the administration to look into building such a facility.
Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus says Ohio's budget calls for creating six to eight "sobering centers" across the state. She says Hamilton County isn't getting one of the opioid treatment centers, but should press ahead with building its own.
Kelly Firesheets is senior program officer for Interact For Health. She says the idea is to keep people out of emergency rooms and out of jail.
"There would be addiction specialists that would be available 24/7, so people can walk in a door and have medically appropriate care for their addiction and then get connected into addiction treatment."
Firesheets says the centers divert people with addiction problems into long term treatment. "Right now we don't have a function that does that. We do have an emergency department for psychological disorders. But we don't have something specifically for addictions. So a lot of times these people either end up in the jail or they end up in emergency rooms."
Firesheets says a new sobering center should be built in conjunction with existing treatment programs and facilities.
She says Hamilton County studied how much such a facility would cost, but that was several years ago and the study needs to be revisited: