Facility opens in Mentor to help pregnant women, mothers overcome substance addiction

By John Arthur Hutchison, The News-Herald

Posted: 02/20/14, 5:45 PM EST |

A new supportive housing facility in Mentor is providing a place to stay for women with children ages 5 and younger and pregnant women who seek outpatient substance abuse treatment services.

Melanie J. Blasko, president and CEO of Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers, said Nevaeh Ridge at 9652 Old Johnnycake Ridge Road opened in January.

Funding to help operate the six-bedroom facility has been provided by the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board, Blasko said.

She said 70 percent of women who enter addiction treatment programs have young children and her family and children play an important role in the recovery process.

However some women who look to overcome substance abuse don’t have a place to keep their children or someone to care for them while they go to outpatient treatment, so providing the option to stay at Nevaeh Ridge removes a potential barrier for treatment, she said.

“This unique effort is so important for women who reside in Lake County,” Blasko said. “By providing a stable, respectful, and structured living environment free from alcohol and drugs for this special population, we hope to increase the birth rate of drug-free babies, help maintain family ties, and ultimately strengthen our community.”

The need for both residential treatment and supportive housing continues to grow as two local hospitals reported a 600-percent increase of opiate-addicted newborns during a one-year period, Blasko said.

Women who stay at Nevaeh Ridge receive outpatient treatment at Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers in Mentor, while the comprehensive program at Nevaeh Ridge also assists them with pre-natal care, parenting skills, vocational training and workforce preparation to help establish a solid foundation for recovery and long-term sobriety.

“A goal is to help them secure employment and to find safe and affordable housing,” she said.

Women may stay for three months or longer depending on their situation as the treatment program is very individualized.

Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers plans to host a public open house at the facility in the spring, Blasko said.

The agency also has begun to offer outpatient counseling and support services at its Mentor and Chardon offices to help people recover from gambling addictions.

“Our trained counselors are here to help the individual with a gambling problem and all those touched by his/her addiction,” Blasko said.

The Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966 offers referrals for gambling treatment in a specific part of the state, as well as help with other concerns that can be impacted by gambling.

For more information on problem gambling services in Lake and Geauga Counties call Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers at 440-255-0678 or visit www.lgrc.us.