Long wait lists limiting area heroin rehab centers - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Long wait lists limiting area heroin rehab centers

Long wait lists limiting area heroin rehab centers

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

Families already suffering because of heroin use in Summit County are forced to endure the heartache and agony over addiction even longer, because help isn't readily available.

At last week's rally against heroin in Akron, people held up signs, begging to get the story out -- that when heroin addicts want help, there aren't enough resources out there to save them in time.

"At the time of my son's death he was put on a three week waiting ... today that waiting list in Summit county is 16 weeks for men and four weeks for women and that's just unacceptable," said Travis Bornstein, with Breaking Barriers.

Bornstein can't bring his son, Tyler, back. But he can fight for better resources to help those struggling with heroin addiction.

"If you have cancer, you're not put on a waiting list, you go get help but with the stigma associated with this and the lack of resources and money that we're willing to put into it … we can't get the treatment that we need," he said.

Arika Hall, a 22-year-old active addict, has been missing since February. But her family says she could have been saved.

"When they want help, they want it now. She would say 'I'm ready, I'm ready to go to rehab, ready to get back into it, ready to be (me) again,' and then the next day she would change her mind," said her sister, Chloe Hall.

The 22-year-old's older sister Ashley Collins said without the resources to help the addict, that's where the disconnect is.

"You see all these people here supporting, but there are no beds available. There's nothing available for the people that do want to get help," Collins said.

According to the CDC, the federal government is increasing access to substance abuse treatment services through the Affordable Care Act. But families left waiting say that's not enough.

"We need help and we need it now. When they need help ... you can't wait," said Arika's mother, Renee Hall.

The Teamsters Union has pledged $1.4 million for this cause. Bornstein is the Local 24 President. The plan is to build a rehab facility in Tyler's name, on the vacant lot where he was left to die from an overdose.

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