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Simpson in effort for funding to fight heroin, opioid epidemic

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Dr. Kamaria A. Tyehimba. Photo provided

UMADAOP-Cincinnati, one of the leading social services agencies dedicated to drug abuse outreach in Hamilton County, recently received over $87,500 from the City of Cincinnati to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. This award is the first time UMADAOP has ever received city funding for treatment services. Cincinnati City Council members Yvette Simpson, Christopher Smitherman, Charlie Winburn, and Wendell Young were instrumental in the City’s decision to fund UMADAOP-Cincinnati.

Yvette Simpson. Photo provided

“Fighting drug addiction is a major challenge, and as a city, we need to utilize our resources to combat the devastating impact the heroin epidemic has on Cincinnati and its residents. UMADAOP understands what our first responders are seeing on the front lines of the heroin epidemic. Their expertise in ambulatory detox and intensive outpatient treatment provide a much-needed alternative to meet the unique needs of those fighting addiction. I am proud to have supported funding for this critical treatment for those who desperately need it right now,” said Council Member Yvette Simpson.

“This horrendous epidemic that is taking place in our community does not discriminate and has no economic, social, or cultural boundaries. There are unintended consequences that cannot go over looked. Heroin and opioid drug abuse is truly affecting everyone. The children and family members suffer with the addictive person,” states Dr. Kamaria A. Tyehimba, president/CEO of UMADAOP-Cincinnati. “It is truly an honor to receive this funding from the City of Cincinnati because UMADAOP fights every day to save lives, decrease homelessness, decrease involvement in the criminal justice system, increase employment and improve family relationships. It’s the holistic approach that will make our community better. We truly thank all of the City Council members as well as Mayor John Cranley for their support.”

Christopher Smitherman. Photo provided

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), six of 10 overdose deaths are due to opioids. Since 2000, the rate of overdose deaths from opioids has increased 137 percent. Founded by the pioneering Cincinnati politician William L. Mallory, Sr., in 1980, UMADAOP, which stands for Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program, is a social service agency that provides services for its clients in the areas of drug abuse and prevention. Specifically, UMADAOP-Cincinnati is dedicated to helping meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to vulnerable populations living in suspended lifestyles because of substance abuse issues. In the past three years, UMADAOP has provided treatment to 989 Cincinnati residents. Of those 989 residents, 596 were addicted to a narcotic (crack cocaine or opioid-based drug) and of the 596, 403 were involved with the legal system.

Charlie Winburn. Photo provided

The funding from the City of Cincinnati will assist UMADAOP-Cincinnati in conducting a pilot project focusing on the effectiveness of ambulatory detox and intensive outpatient services. The patients selected for this pilot program will be provided with case management wrapped around with personal services that will impact their lifestyle goals. The overarching objective for UMADAOP-Cincinnati with this pilot is to work to improve the social, emotional, economic, and overall lifestyle of the patient.

“The national government is pledging billions of dollars to combat opioid addiction. The funds we received from the City of Cincinnati is a jump start for our efforts,” states De Asa Nichols, board chair for UMADAOP-Cincinnati.

For more information on UMADAOP-Cincinnati, please visit www.cincyumadaop.org

Wendell Young. Photo provided

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