Selection panelist: Can’t we get along? |

Selection panelist: Can’t we get along?

In response to The Union’s editorial about the control of Lovett Recovery, I feel compelled to clarify some items.

Of course, because of budget cutbacks in the Department of Behavioral Health to run one of the alcohol and other drug community rehabilitation programs, money was an ingredient for the evaluations made by the panel that looked at the five submitted responses to the RFP [request for proposal] for the Lovett Recovery Program.

CORR’s proposed fee was $80 per day vs. $60 for Progress House. If the decision had been driven solely by dollars, Progress would still have been first choice; it’s just that this was not the only reason for selecting them.

The panel studied many other aspects of all the submissions, with many questions asked by the panel and answered by the organizations that applied in the second phase of the process. Progress House was asked about detox and was happy to add that they had all of the protocols for a medically managed social model detox.

They could include that with the same costs as the original proposal with either two of the 19 beds, or adding additional beds if the first floor could handle that. They would have trained staff for this desired service. As far as transitional housing, Progress House has three established in Placer County, so they have the ability to provide these.

Transitional housing is something that should be addressed on its own merit. As we have seen in the mental health transitional housing, this is usually a private house that has group living. My opinion is that living in an area where you do not have the connections or associates who haven’t recovered so easily accessible will provide a better chance for long-term recovery.

By the way, just because an organization was established outside Nevada County does not mean that they do not put high emphasis on long-term recovery. Progress House will be “in” Nevada County with the Lovett Program and will be hiring local people; probably a lot of the same people already working at Lovett will be staying on, as they all have the same opportunity to apply.

One thing that is clear is that CORR and any other entities that provide services for those who have substance abuse problems in Nevada County should welcome all the knowledge and help of those who are willing to bring additional insight to our problems from 30 years of proven methods that work in other small counties, as Progress House is willing to do.

We need more than 24 beds in this county and ways to provide care for the indigent as well as the insured clients. It is apparent that state and federal governments cannot help us with all their budget cuts, so the community must find other ways to build a strong structure that can provide long-term recovery.

I hope CORR will still look at ways to provide additional programs above and beyond the scope of this one. I also hope they will hold out a hand of welcome to these new partners in the vision of a healthier community.

Long-term recovery for individuals is one good goal, but if a new addict or two replace each recovered one in our community, then we need to turn our focus to prevention and education before the addicts need treatment.

This is not some new problem that we just discovered in Nevada County last year. The methamphetamine problem has been here for years. It’s time to let the manufacturers and dealers know “we’re tired and we’re not going to take it anymore!” And yes, it is not the only substance abuse problem, but it is the worst.

County lines do not divide substance abuse, and a good example is that CORR’s 10-bed Hope House facility at present houses eight clients who are from Placer County. We have also sent many people from our county to Placer when the need is there. Sometimes organizations will need the clients with ability to pay from other areas in order to keep the doors open.

“Can’t we all just get along?”


Randy Hansen of Grass Valley is a member of the Lovett Recovery RFP panel, the Nevada County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Nevada County Mental Health Board, and is president of Minds In Recovery. Also, he is host/producer of “Is This As Good As It Gets?” – a mental health and alcohol and drug recovery program on NCTV public access television, and director of Harmony Hill Homes Foundation, doing business as Grass Valley Blues & Thrift.

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