|Steve Chapman and Lucy
Wayton of Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, are seen February 12, 2014. (Photo: Enoch
PERRYSBURG – Medical technology combined with mental health counseling may provide a key to fighting
opiate addiction. One non-profit business is convinced its new treatment program can make a dent in the
problem for those seeking help.
Lutheran Social Services, located at 1011 Sandusky St., Suite 1, in Perrysburg, is now providing what
officials consider a better treatment for some with drug addictions.
The faith-based organization has been active with providing counseling services for years; however, the
newly began Suboxone treatment plan adds the benefit of a newer drug which combined with the counseling
is seeing positive signs of success.
Steve Chapman, a licensed clinical therapist, has seen positive results in previous trials with the
medication assisted therapy (MAT).
"This provides better treatment through the medication," Chapman said, noting there is a larger
heroin population in the area than most people realize.
The use of the Suboxone can provide positive results, especially with counseling.
"The treatment works if done well. Medical assisted therapy works very well in stopping drug use
when used with therapy," he said, noting roughly a 90 percent success rate. "It almost always
He explained there are many stressors which can contribute to a person’s drug addiction. Those can
include, but are not limited to family, financial and work issues. Almost anything can cause stress.
Chapman says what they do at his office is to provide a wholistic approach to various matters such as
anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and depression.
Every day items in life for most people can trigger a need for drugs in the addict.
Chapman says these people internally develop a dependence on the drugs, what is commonly called an
For the addict, it becomes their way of life.
Chapman explains for many addicts he sees, it may begin with pain medication prescribed by a doctor.
"They like it and seek to continue the meds even after they have healed," he said. "That
person becomes dependent."
Some sympathetic doctors may continue issuing the prescription, but that often is no longer enough for
the addict. They will move on to other drugs. He says often they migrate to heroin as heroin is
"Withdrawal from heroin can be very painful, so they look for a $10 ‘bump’ of heroin to get them to
work or take the edge off," Chapman said.
"It gets to the point where they will spend $100 to $150 per day on the drugs. That’s $3,000 a
To support that type of habit is where the addict often gets involve in crime, from shoplifting upward to
more serious crimes.
In addition, the addict is put in dangerous situations as once they are not getting prescribed
medications, but buying off the street, there are no controls and Chapman says that is often why people
can easily overdose.
The newly begun Suboxone treatment program for detoxification includes group therapy sessions. Though
already begun, he says people can join at any time, though space is limited.
He expects most of the people in the program will be self-referred. Those on Medicaid as well as others
can be placed on a sliding scale fee. He says the cost is far cheaper than the cost to feed the
"It saves them money, especially when their family abandons them or they just can’t afford the
Many programs through the Affordable Care Act will pay for the office visit, but not the drug. Chapman
states every dollar spent on drug treatment reduces drug spending by $12.
While the Suboxone treatment in Perrysburg is believed by Chapman and Lucy Wayton, Northern Region
Director for LSS, to be the first such type of treatment in Wood County, Wayton notes they have seen
success with this type of treatment in their Lima office. She also noted they have begun a similar
program in Findlay.
Wayton said that their organization has been in existence since 1911. They provide a full range of
counseling services for a wide range of issues. The Bowling Green office has recently begun a smoking
cessation program at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on South College Drive.
"Because we are faith-based and supported by the Lutheran Church we can provide the costs for
counseling cheaper than many other services," she said.
Calling Suboxone a "miracle drug," Chapman noted the naloxone component of the drug satisfies
the addiction without the addict getting the buzz.
"It blocks the opiate receptors," he said, adding, "It’s a great drug. It can fix a lot of
problems for the county."
Clayton said the program is set up ideally to include weekly visits for six to 12 months; then another
six to eight weeks of biweekly visits, then monthly.
Aside from the drugs, Chapman stressed the therapy, including assuring they get plenty of sleep, manage
their stress and coach them and train them on life skills.
"It is important for them to build social support and relationships," he said.
For information on any of the programs, contact the Perrysburg office at 419-872-9111.