Joe P. Asher
During a recent meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court, the court was asked to assist with adding two drug abuse counselors to the staff at Comprehensive Care.
Comp Care Substance Abuse Counselor Eric Perry advised the court of the drug abuse issues going on in the county.
“Of course everybody knows about our substance abuse issues in the county. We are kind of in dire straights and it seems like in the last few months it’s even gotten more severe,” said Perry. “I contribute it to people getting laid off, people losing jobs around the area.”
Perry explained Comp Care does not receive a large amount of funding for substance abuse programs.
“We get very little funding for substance abuse. If it’s just substance abuse there’s pretty much no funding. If it’s co-occurring, if it’s someone who has a mental illness and substance abuse we do get very minimal funding,” said Perry.
Perry explained the additional counselors will cover more than just one location.
“We’re coming to you guy’s today, we’re looking at trying to get two substance abuse counselors working just primarily substance abuse and co-occurring,” said Perry. “We’re going to put one in our Harlan office and one in our Benham office.”
According to Perry, substance abuse is becoming more widespread.
“I don’t know any county or any family that hasn’t been touched by this in some capacity. This is an ongoing problem.”
Perry explained Comp Care is already receiving assistance in other areas.
“We’ve come to the court just to see if you guys can help us out,” said Perry. “Bell County (fiscal court) has already jumped on with us for our Middlesboro and Pineville office.”
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop inquired “if people need substance abuse services now, where do they go?”
“They’re still coming to us,” responded Perry. “We’re just at a point where we’re over flooded. We need to put more emphasis on this.”
The court did not make a decision on the matter during session, advising Perry they would consider the request.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com