CICADA to expand Homer drug treatment and mental health services

Aug 31, 2017

Credit Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, or CICADA, is looking to expand its Homer operation. CICADA provides out-patient care for drug addiction and mental health services from Moose Pass down to the Homer area.

The Kenai-based non-profit corporation currently operates the Homer satellite office just two days per week with staff from the Central peninsula. It’s looking to hire a substance abuse counselor for part-time work five days per week.

CICADA executive director Sara Fann said the majority of the corporation’s caseload comes from enforcement agencies like the Alaska Office of Child Services, DUI convictions and probation referrals.

She notes its caseload has decreased since Senate Bill 91 passed in 2016. The criminal justice reform bill dropped some requirements for those with minor drug convictions to participate in a treatment program.  

“So, they might make the appointment, but by the time the appointment comes they go, ‘Well, I don’t think so,’ and they don’t show up. Then there’s no consequences,” Fann explained.

She said that CICADA wants to start appealing to those seeking out treatment themselves. They are interviewing to fill the Homer position now, and CICADA wants whoever is hired to build on the current program.

“We think that perhaps if we had a presence there, they could be attending community meetings and trying to build up that office. So, that hopefully one day we can have it maned full-time five days per week,” Fann said.

She doesn’t have a deadline for when Homer will see expanded hours, but she hopes to have the position filled in the coming months.

For those seeking treatment on the Southern peninsula, CICADA also provides intake assessments to identify the level of care needed for individuals. Fann said it can also make referrals for those seeking in-patient care.