Friday, May 27, 2016
Funds will support agency’s expansion of adolescent substance use treatment
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear will visit Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky on Wednesday, June 1 to present the adolescent behavioral health services provider with $450,000 in proceeds from a recent court settlement between the Commonwealth and a major pharmaceutical company. The proceeds, to be used in support of CHNK’s existing substance use treatment services for adolescents, complement a previous $1.5 million grant received by CHNK in 2014 from the Office of the Attorney General.
“The Office of the Attorney General and CHNK share a common mission to address the needs of Kentucky’s most vulnerable youth. Today those needs include increased capacity to treat substance use disorders,” Beshear said. “No one understands this need more than Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky. CHNK has a proven track record of providing excellent critical treatment services to our youth, pulling them out of addiction and putting them back on a path to success.”
CHNK is one of only three private agencies of the Kentucky Children’s Alliance that has achieved a Behavioral Health Service Organization (BHSO) and an Alcohol and Other Drug Entity (AODE) licensure. And CHNK is currently the first and only agency in Northern Kentucky to offer substance use treatment beds for adolescents; at any given time, fourteen youth can participate in residential substance use treatment at CHNK’s Devou Park campus.
One of the youth who successfully participated in this program, fifteen-year-old Audrey, came to CHNK in November after having been in and out of hospitals, jail, and rehabilitation centers – 19 in total – over the course of five years. She credits CHNK’s therapists for being able to do what no other treatment team has been successful in doing for Audrey.
“The program at CHNK is different than the other places I’ve been,” Audrey reflected. “Most places, therapy is shoved down your throat. At CHNK, we have a choice to everything we do, but our therapists always motivate us to choose the right thing. They show us not to be hopeless of our future because they let us know it’s not too late. And that’s the best thing anybody can do to help someone who has already given up on themselves.”
Since 2012, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky has served 444 children and family members with a substance use disorder diagnosis as a presenting issue. An additional 393 clients were considered “at-risk” for substance use based on other at-risk behaviors. CHNK is now actively pursuing a strategic plan that would expand services and allow for the treatment of more youth like Audrey.
“There is no way to understate what this investment from the Attorney General means to youth and families in our care here at CHNK,” said Rick Wurth, CHNK Chief Executive Officer. “Having experienced the trauma of youth addiction in my own family and knowing how we struggled to find the right services for my nephew, I applaud General Beshear for giving families a lifeline to hope and opportunity. We all make financial investments on a daily basis. Very few of them result in lives being saved. This one does. It’s refreshing to see elected officials roll up their sleeves, face a problem squarely, and do something about it quickly and effectively.”
A brief press conference, open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. on the front veranda of CHNK’s historic administration building, located in Devou Park. Joining Attorney General Beshear will be State Representatives Arnold Simpson and Dennis Keene, who will provide additional remarks on the funding and how it will impact the drug epidemic in Northern Kentucky. A brunch and tours of CHNK’s Devou Park campus will be available for guests after the conference.