mercy health reach program battles opioid crisis

How REACH is Helping Battle the Opioid Crisis

Aug 24 2018

Caring for patients with addiction in Ohio and Kentucky

As the opioid crisis continues throughout the United States, many lives are at risk. According to a New Yorker article, “Faces of an Epidemic,” opioids are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

These statistics may seem like a faraway number, but the emergency is closer to home. Ohio is the second leading state for overdose deaths. Within this pool is an even smaller sample impacted by the national emergency – Montgomery County. NBC News has called this county the “Overdose Capital of America.”

Because of the brutal statistics that accompany this reputation, many health care systems are funding programs to counteract the deadly outcomes. Since 1995, Mercy Health’s REACH Services (Recovery, Education, Advocacy, Care and Hope) has supported tobacco-, drug- and alcohol-dependent people reclaim their lives. REACH is now directing an even larger effort toward battling the opioid crisis in Springfield and Urbana, OH areas.

REACH is also certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Joint Commission surveys the program to ensure it meets national standard for care.

REACH Services’ team provides non-judgmental, compassionate care that treats people and their addictions. Services include:

  • Drug and alcohol treatment – outpatient care for adolescents and adults include assessments, individual counseling and group therapy, as well as an intensive outpatient program for those needing extra support. There are 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-day programs available
  • Detoxification – REACH Services assess patient struggling with opiate or alcohol withdrawal to determine if they need rapid placement to Springfield Regional Medical Center for detoxification
  • Medically-assisted treatment – REACH offers medication management, including the monthly Vivitrol injection or daily Naltrexone pill by prescription to assist with maintaining sobriety.
  • Community outreach – community presentations to help others avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco abuse.
  • Tobacco treatment – individual and group therapy is available through a six-week program. Meetings take place Monday evenings from 5:30-7 p.m. Free nicotine replacement is available while supplies last.

“We have also significantly stepped up our efforts to educate our community on prevention,” said Sheri Haines, MA, LPC, LICDC-CS, CGP, who has managed REACH Services since 1999. “Reach Services has financial assistance programs available to help patients with the cost of treatment. Supportive incentive programs include free transportation passes, free gas cards for eligible clients and free YMCA passes.”

REACH Services continues to grow. The Mercy Health Foundation of Clark and Champaign Counties recently raised $220,000 from the Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala to fund a navigator and case manager position, a representative who connects people with resources needed for long-term sober living.

Additional funds from the Mercy Health Foundation support education programs in schools and the community.

These successes are making an impact in Springfield, and last year was the busiest year for REACH Services. In 2017, REACH Services:

  • Provided treatment to 537 new patients, up from 353 in 2016
  • Assessed 210 patients for detoxification needs in 2017; 190 of those patients participated in detox services and 151 successfully completed medical detoxes at Springfield Regional Medical Center
  • Cared for a total of 1,815 clients in its intensive outpatient program
  • Conducted 3,058 individual counseling sessions
  • Conducted 309 group therapy sessions, with 3,333 patients attending those sessions
  • Provided medically assisted treatment, also known as MAT, to 27 patients who had a total 70 injections.
  • Participated in more than 50 community outreach programs to provide education aimed at preventing children and adults from misuse of drugs, alcohol and tobacco

While REACH is only located in Springfield and Urbana, we’re proud to treat addiction in each of our Ohio and Kentucky regions. For more information about REACH Services, please call 937-390-5338 (Springfield) or 937-653-3001 (Urbana). Additional Mercy Health substance abuse services can be found by visiting


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