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Communicare receives grant to treat teens, young adults

A federal grant will allow Communicare to continue to offer programs to those in Lafayette and surrounding counties.

The $2.7 million grant was awarded to the organization from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will allow Communicare to treat roughly 450 patients. The treatment program has been named Connect4Success.

“We always look and see what sort of grants are coming out and are available for our area,” Melody Madaris, Director of Substance Abuse and EAP Services, said. “We saw this grant this past spring and applied for it.”

The grant will focus on the treatment of patients that Madaris said are “transitional age,” or individuals between ages 16 to 25.

“We know that this is one of the groups that are very susceptible to overdose and death (via substance abuse). All the studies show that this group is using more and more deadly drugs than years past, so we knew that this group of individuals needed more intensive treatment. Many of them are off their parents’ insurance or they don’t have insurance of their own, so finding resources to even be able to get treatment is a big problem for them,” Madaris said.

The grant is the first that Communicare has received that seeks to help individuals in the 16 to 25 age group that have substance abuse or other mental health issues, Madaris said.

“(The program) will create transitional age intensive outpatient programs (IOP), an intensive outpatient family program, a peer support program tailored to the transitional age and a recovery housing program,” a news release from Communicare said.

The two million outlined in the grant will be given to Communicare over a five-year period, and patients from  Lafayette, Panola, Tate, Marshall, Yalobusha, and Calhoun counties will be eligible for treatment as part of the program.

However, Madaris said, the grant was written for patients in Lafayette, Yalobusha and Tate counties but that services involved in the Connect4Success program will be open to all counties eligible for Communicare services though patients will need to travel to the program treatment centers in either Tate or Lafayette.

“We are excited about the amount of people we will be able to help,” Madaris said. “But unfortunately that number will come quickly, I don’t think it will take us five years to reach that many people.”

On average, Communicare’s residential treatment facility, Haven House, treats roughly 400 patients across all age groups.

“We have found that somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of the (age) groups we serve at Haven House is within this age group,” Madarius said.

The cost of treatment will be on a sliding scale, Madaris said. Some patients will receive treatment at no charge and others for a nominal fee.

Treatment for individuals in the program will begin in November, Madaris said.

For anyone interested in services offered by Communicare, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/communicarems/.