Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 23, 2014

Drug center gets funding

BLUEFIELD — A funding application was approved Thursday for a new drug treatment clinic in Mercer County.

The Healing Place out of Huntington, along with partners Southern Highlands Community Mental Health, the Mercer County Day Report Center and the Mercer County Drug Court, have been awarded a $440,000 grant for a drug treatment clinic, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said.

“We know treatment programs help reduce recidivism and increase the likelihood that people will overcome addiction and become productive members of society,” Tomblin said. “This is an important step in our continuing efforts to stop drug abuse.”

The Healing Place has plans to bring a 60 to 100 bed treatment facility to Mercer County, according to Healing Place Director of Development Matt Boggs.

“We were originally looking at the old BB&T bank building on Bluefield Avenue but are also exploring different options and the opportunities we have,” Boggs said. “We will have to choose the building that works best for us and that we will be able to grow into. We hope to be able to house up to 60 men in three years.”

A meeting is set for June 5 to discuss property options and also a timeline of when the project will begin.

The Healing Place, a long-term resident recovery treatment program for men, will give an alternative sentencing opportunity, Boggs said.

 Scott Adkins, executive director of the Healing Place, said “the treatment program allows men to stay at this facility for nine to 12 months and complete a program that will help them transition into living a healthy, normal lifestyle. We have a three-phase program. The first phase allows for detoxing, then four to six months of treatment and counseling, and finally a transition period to educate the men on making their way back into society, such as community service, maybe learning how to be a dad or husband for the first time and also workforce help.” Adkins said.

Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope said the funding award was an excellent first step to getting the program up and running.

“The Healing Place has an excellent track record and we are really happy to have the residential component to the treatment process here, because that is something Mercer County lacks,” Swope said. “Plus having this treatment center will give us another really powerful option to take these problems and try and give a solution to those who need help.”

In all, Tomblin announced the award Thursday of $1.2 million in grants for community-based substance abuse treatment and recovery services across West Virginias part of his Justice Reinvestment initiative.

Tomblin said grant funding also was awarded for the development of smaller, six- to 10-bed treatment facilities in Marshall and Wood counties and  outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs based in Kanawha, Logan, Marshall, Mercer and Wood counties. The grant also will finance the hiring of counselors and specialists in all of counties, including Mercer.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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