Ohio addictions plan leaves $20 million shortfall


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A change in the way the state is funneling federal money to local agencies to help addicted Ohioans is creating a $20 million shortfall over the next year.

The plan by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to distribute millions in federal money over 18 months instead of a single year is meant to address historic cash flow problems.

The agency says that once implemented the plan will ensure a more stable funding stream for local boards helping treat Ohioans with substance abuse problems.

County addictions officials understand the state's rationale but say the shortfall created by the change hampers their fight against Ohio's painkiller and heroin epidemic.

They pushed a one-year delay of the funding plan in hopes Medicaid expansion will soften the blow.

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