East Moline addiction center program waits on Illinois state funds for over a year

EAST MOLINE-- After almost 30 years of battling a heroin addiction Sarah is now 5 months sober.

That's the longest time she's gone without feeding her addiction, but it's been a long road to recovery.

The first time she tried heroin was at 18 years-old.

"It was like, a warm sense of well-being...nothing really mattered anymore," says Sarah.

After that it didn't take her long before she found herself looking for her next fix.

"When that (feeling) wears off...it's depression...so you do it again and eventually you have a habit and you need it," says Sarah.

It wasn't until she arrived at the center of Rock Island County Council of Addictions as part of their long-term inpatient program, that she was able to battle her addiction and stay sober.

"It’s definitely a problem that needs to be addressed, I’ve struggled with it for so long and so many times I’ve wanted to get help and couldn’t get help," says Sarah.

But now the program that's helped her with her own crisis is going through obstacles of their own. The treatment center hasn't received their funds from the state of Illinois for the program since last November.

Much of that money comes from vouchers through the state's Department of Corrections but it hasn't been signed off by Governor Bruce Rauner. The lack of funding has put a hold on expanding and improving the addiction center.

The executive director of the center, Mary Engholm, says she wants to open more beds in the treatment center.

"My hope is that I can dedicate those (beds) to opiates...specifically for opiate treatment. That is the long-term goal," says Engholm.

From Sarah's experience finding a place to recover was another obstacle getting in the way to get the help she needed.

"Sometimes there were beds available at treatment centers (sometimes) there weren't. I had to be put on a waiting list so I'd have to call everyday and I couldn't get help," says Sarah.

For now, the addiction center relies on funding from other programs in the center.

They're now looking for ways to raise funds to expand so they can open their doors for more patients and help their road to recovery.

"I know I’ll never beat this disease, I know its something  I’ll have to put effort and work into it every single day," says Sarah.