Thanks to your calls, letters, emails and personal visits, the NC House of Representatives’ budget RESTORED funding for North Carolina’s three Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Centers (ADATCs). The House budget, passed last week, differs substantially from the Senate budget proposal, which eliminates funding for all ADATCs and provides $10 million to Local Management Entities (or Managed Care Organizations) for community services.
Now the hard work begins.
Since the House & Senate budgets differ greatly, a conference committee has been established to determine the final budget proposal of the two chambers. We need to reach members of the conference committee THIS COMING WEEK to make sure the House position on ADATC funding is adopted by the conference committee. It’s especially important we reach out the Senate conferees and ask them to adopt the House position.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- First, contact the office of Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Wake County Republican, chair of the House Appropriations Committee and chief budget writer, at (919) 715-0795 and THANK HIM for his hard work that restored ADATC funding in the House budget.
- Contact members of the Appropriations Conference Committee and ask them to adopt the House position that fully funds for all three ADATCs. (To find out who is on the Appropriations Conference Committee, click here). It’s especially important to reach out to the Senate members, and you have particular sway if you are in their district. Use the talking points above, but be sure to incorporate personal stories and observations in the discussion. Calling or visiting is best, but emails can be effective as well.
- Contact your legislators by FRIDAY, JUNE 28th! Rumor has it they’ll have a conference committee report by the end of the month, so we must reach the legislators quickly.
- TO FIND OUT WHO IS ON THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE, CLICK HERE.
SOME TALKING POINTS ABOUT ADATCs:
- By providing inpatient intensive care for low-income adults, ADATCs provide a unique service. Private providers are key, but many things they do provide such as short-term inpatient care and outpatient services, are secondary resources for this population, not replacements for extensive inpatient treatment. They certainly are ill equipped to handle this population starting next month, and hospitals and private providers are opposed to this measure.
- If ADATCs were eliminated, those they serve would instead go to the state psychiatric hospitals and increase waiting times in Emergency Departments (EDs) or be served in the criminal justice system.
- Eliminating ADATCs places North Carolina’s Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Block Grant (our main source of substance abuse treatment dollars) at risk since the state would not be meeting its maintenance of effort requirements.
- A decade ago NC moved people from mental hospitals to the community before the community supports were fully funded and in place. The results were disastrous. Let’s not repeat the same thing with substance abuse.
A few facts about ADATCs:
- North Carolina’s 3 ADATCs (Walter B. Jones in Greenville, RJ Blackley in Butner & Julian Keith in Black Mountain) provide services to about 4000 patients per year at a daily cost lower than community inpatient beds and state psychiatric hospital beds.
- ADATCs provide inpatient care, not outpatient or residential level of care.
- They serve individuals with complicated co-occurring diagnosis such as major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Approximately three-fourths (75%) of individuals have some level of co-occurring diagnosis.
- The ADATCs provide specialized services for populations that exceed community capacity due to acuity and a need for higher level of specialized care such as pregnant women (all ADATCs), pregnant women with opiate addictions, women with babies who can deliver during their time at the facility (Walter B. Jones Center), individuals with traumatic brain injuries (Julian F. Keith Center) and Veterans (R. J. Blackley Center).
- On average 87% of individuals are indigent and have no type of insurance. Of the 13% with some insurance, only 8% have Medicare.
Thank you in advance for contacting these legislators this week. Once you contact them, please let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at (919) 606-7584. Your outreach to them has made a real difference on key issues affecting this community.