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OC Register: Blueprint “offers a new path forward for addiction treatment and much more”

The OC Register reported on the BHA Blueprint for Behavioral Health:

Plugging deadly holes in California’s addiction treatment system

First-of-its-kind coalition aims to shake up mental health treatment in Golden State, saying action cannot be delayed

“They tried a wilderness program in Idaho. Boarding school. Expensive private treatment programs and sober living homes in Orange County, the San Fernando Valley, Beverlywood.

After spending nearly $200,000 trying to free him from the tyrannous grip of addiction, Juli Shamash’s son, Tyler, died in 2018 of an overdose in the bathroom of a sober living home right around the corner from her house. He was 19.

“They don’t’ teach you this in ‘Mommy and Me,’ ” Shamash said. “You have no clue where to start, what to do, when your child is an addict. Which programs are good? Which are bad? I’m a researcher, it’s what I do. I looked up everything I could, but you’re blind. You just don’t know.”

After years of study, a first-of-its-kind coalition of more than 50 groups — including the California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, county health directors, public safety officials and family-based organizations — intends to change that. The Behavioral Health Action’s new Blueprint for Behavioral Health offers a new path forward for addiction treatment and much more. The need for a new approach can be seen in public parks, under freeway overpasses and even in sober living homes.”

Read more here.

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