Addicted: Treatment is the solution. But there are often barr - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Addicted: Treatment is the solution. But there are often barriers to treatment.

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

For those who are "Addicted" there is a solution; treatment.

In part two of our 21 News investigation, we found out there are some barriers to recovery that keep some from receiving the help they desperately need.

A former heroin addict, who only wanted to be identified as Dave, is now 20 months sober, and admits stealing to support his addiction.

"I literally did not care about anything other than the ways and means to get more or to get the next hit," Dave said.

Dave, a college graduate, said he had been arrested three times in five days, and was ready to put down the needle and get clean, but getting into detox wasn't easy. He had to wait a month for a bed to become available.

"And for that month, I could have overdosed and died," Dave said.

That lack of beds is only one barrier to treatment.

Here in the tri-county area there are only 16 detox beds to deal with this epidemic; eight for men and eight for women.

Doug Wentz is the Community Services Director with the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic. "When somebody's moving out, somebody's moving in; so there is a waiting list. But our patients can and should call every single day to make sure that there still interested in the bed. We just can't hold beds indefinitely. So by expressing their interest in the beds, their willingness to come to treatment, we're getting people in those beds who are the most motivated people to be in them."

Because of the public health crisis with opiate, including heroin, Neil Kennedy is adding even more beds and building a new detox facility in the near future.

Wentz said, "By opening up this recovery supportive housing, that's going to open up 400 more detox slots in a year."

But even as the area gains more beds, there's still a financial hurdle that addicts must overcome if they are wanting treatment.

It can cost as much as $600 a day for detox, and approximately $15,000 for 90 day treatment. Without insurance, many people are left having to take that option off the table.

However, with the recent expansion of Medicaid facilities like Neil Kennedy believe more people will be able to afford treatment.

"It's a totally different demographic. A totally different problem than any other addiction problem we at Neil Kennedy have face during our last 65 years, it's really unprecedented," Wentz said.

Unprecedented, yet effective for those able to successfully complete treatment and commit themselves to a life of sobriety like Dave.

"They tell me to live a ‘just for today’ program in the 12-step program that I participate in, although I do think about the future. I'd like to be one of those guys who's buried at 80 or 90 and dies clean."

Wednesday night on 21 News at 6, is the addict himself ready to make the change? Kate Keller investigates what it takes in part three of our series "Addicted."

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