Thomas Stuber has been trying to dig himself out of a job for 36 years. 
The president and CEO of the LCADA Way, a proven leader in providing behavioral health and primarily alcohol and drug addiction treatment since 1981, isn’t kidding. 
“The fact is it’s getting worse,” Stuber says. “We’re seeing more and more individuals needing longer and more intense treatment at times when capacity is just not available. We’re running as fast as we can to create more recovery housing beds, to create more treatment. I’m in the process of trying to recruit additional physicians at this point. The resources just aren’t out there yet.”
The landscape is complex and crowded in large part due to the amount of people suffering from narcotic or heroin addiction. 
“When I first came to the agency 16 years ago, we’d see seven narcotic or heroin-addicted individuals a year. Now, we’re seeing that every other day,” Stuber says. “I’m very proud of LCADA and our board and our staff because we continue to look for more resources and add to the equation of care.” 
In 2015, LCADA offered primary addiction treatment to about 2,800 individuals — 60 percent of whom were abusing highly addictive narcotics and opiates. The organization also provided community education and prevention to about 4,500 students and families in Lorain, Medina and surrounding counties. 
“This is not hitting the homeless person that’s under the bridge. These are your children, your neighbors, your nephews, your nieces, the people down the street,” Stuber says. “Addiction is a chronic illness, according to the American Medical Association. The only difference between one chronic illness and another is what organ it attacks. Diabetes attacks the pancreas. COPD attacks the heart. Asthma attacks the lungs. Addiction attacks the brain.”
For those who have become addicted, LCADA offers intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization or day treatment, and residential or day treatment with supportive housing. LCADA was one of the first in the state to offer a women’s residential treatment program, where children preschool age and younger can live with their mother while she is receiving care. 
“We’re seeing a real onslaught of pregnant heroin-addicted young women who are now residing with us going full term, delivering and remaining there with their newborn baby,” Stuber says. 
Now, LCADA will be expanding its recovery-housing model through its partnership with Primary Purpose Center for men in Sheffield Township, which is set to open in September and house 60 men. LCADA will provide the treatment.

Party With a Purpose
Steve Ford, son of President Gerald and First Lady Betty Ford, headlines the LCADA Way’s annual recognition and fundraiser dinner on Oct. 27 at the Emerald Events Center, part of the Marriott Residence Inn in Avon. He’ll talk about his life in the White House, growing up in an addictive family with his mother suffering from addiction, as well as his own personal struggles. 
“I am excited to be part of a program to recognize the efforts of people who are on the front lines of addiction, recovery and mental health issues,” Ford says. “This is hard, hard work, but there is so much hope. I look forward to sharing my own story of hope in recovery.” 
About 300 people are expected to attend the black-tie-optional event, which will include awards for the Nord Family Foundation and the Community Foundation of Lorain County and silent and lives auction items.
Tickets are $100 for an individual and $1,000 for corporate tables.