Addiction tele-counseling comes to LCCC

By Jonathan Delozier -

For many who struggle with addiction, the real battle begins after the drug leaves their system.

That’s why The LCADA Way has partnered with the LCCC Wellington Center to bring its counseling services to the village via webcam video conferencing.

They’re calling it Telehealth, and the program hopes to aid those who lack transportation to LCADA’s Lorain office during their recovery process.

“LCADA provided us with the webcam,” said LCCC Wellington coordinator Amy Szmania. “If you’re in the recovery process with LCADA and live in Elyria or Lorain, they will transport you to their center to speak with your counselor. If you live down here, though, transportation becomes a huge issue for many people.”

LCADA sets up webcams at the homes of patients who have a computer and high-speed Internet. The LCCC Wellington Center will also provide an outlet for those who lack these amenities.

“Not everyone has a computer or the Internet,” Szmania said. “They’ll be able to come here, close the door, and meet in private with their LCADA counselor. We’re just providing the space.”

All registration and scheduling will go through LCADA, which will give patients an extra sense of anonymity when they enter a building full of students and teachers, she said.

“No one knows if they’re coming in for this counseling for coming in for a class,” she said. “There’s no stigma attached to it. We’re all just trying to figure out this drug challenge in southern Lorain County.”

Szmania also touched on the unique challenges of a rural area to provide access to drug treatment services when compared to urban communities.

“From what I understand, places like Ashland County don’t have these types of resources yet,” she said. “Many people down here don’t know about things like Genesis House domestic violence shelter in Lorain because of residents being farther apart. If they don’t know the services are there, it’s almost the same as them not being there.”

According to a Lorain County study conducted by the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, overdose deaths jumped from 22 in 2011 to 61 in 2012. The following year saw 67, followed by 65 in both 2014 and 2015.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier