Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 18, 2014

Mercer could see new drug treatment clinic

BLUEFIELD — Mercer County officials are working to bring a new long-term resident recovery center for substance abuse to Bluefield.

A funding application was submitted Thursday for a new drug treatment clinic in Mercer County. If funding is approved, the site location requested will be for the old BB&T bank building on Bluefield Avenue, according to officials.

The Healing Place, a long- term resident recovery treatment program for men, hopes to be able to come to a location in either Bluefield or Princeton if funding is approved, executive director of the Healing Place Scott Adkins 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,” Adkins said. “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.”

Right now the program would be set up to treat 20 men, but if successful would be able to treat more, Adkins said.

“We are looking at putting the facility in the old BB&T bank building on Bluefield Avenue but we are also looking at a location in Princeton that might be a possibility,” Adkins said. “The grant is for approximately $440,000 which would help with evaluations and intake, a community engagement specialist and program costs.”

The Healing Place program will be able to treat a man for 40 percent less cost then in a prison. The facility is also peer run, so recovering addicts would be running the program for the most part, with the exception of some hired therapist and counselors, Adkins said.

As of right now there are no long-term treatment programs in Mercer County.

“We have a serious drug abuse problem in the area and right now we have nothing to treat these people. The jails do have some type of treatment, but nothing like they would get at the Healing Place,” Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, said.

The program would allow judges the option of ordering someone to complete the program instead of being put in jail or being out on bond, Shott said.

“This program would be an intensive treatment program, but also educate these men on how to be productive in society,” Shott said. “The program has a zero tolerance policy, one mistake and you’re out of there. There is also a proven track record that most men that come out of the program end up staying sober.”

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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