Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 6, 2013

Suboxone clinic on fast track

KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WELCH — With the county’s first Suboxone clinic ready to open its doors any day now, officials in McDowell County said community response to the facility has been “encouraging.”

Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, who also serves as McDowell County Manager, said renovations are underway at the Southern Highlands facility to provide for the new Suboxone clinic. Moore said officials in the county and with Southern Highlands hope to open the clinic “as soon as possible.”

“They are currently in the process of renovating the building to accommodate the clients and services,” Moore said. “We are hoping within the next month or so we are ready for business. All the agreements are finalized and we are just building out the facility to make sure everything is appropriate for the people there. Any day now we hope to start providing services.”

Moore said there has been a high volume of interest in the clinic from county residents.

“I have had so many people contacting me, the county commission and other agencies in the county to be a part of the program,” he said. “We will probably be at peak capacity on the initial day of the program. It is encouraging to see people want to use this. I think we will have more requesst for service than we have capacity.”

The new Suboxone clinic is not the only initiative county leaders are looking at to help battle the area’s drug problem. Moore said county officials are also looking at an in-patient facility for women as well as attracting one of the regional treatment facilities proposed by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse.

“We are looking at a four-pronged approach,” Moore said. “One part of it is the 10-unit facility for women. The second is this Suboxone clinic and the third is a SBIRT or Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral Treatment program at Welch Community Hospital. We are also trying to get the regional detoxification center.”

McDowell County is on the short list of locations for a regional detoxification and stabilization proposed by the Governor’s Advisory Council for region six. Raleigh County is another area in region six where a location for the facility has been proposed.

Moore offered praise for the organizations and community partners who have gotten involved with helping solve the county’s drug crisis.

“The good people at Southern Highlands, West Virginia University, F.A.C.E.S. and other community organizations have done a great job of attracting these services to McDowell,” he said. “If you look around the state, once these facilities get up and running we will have as many facilities as any other county in West Virginia. It isn’t enough yet, but we are continuing to research and find inventive solutions to the problem.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com