By RYAN DUNN
A group of agencies is working to open Hancock County’s first residential treatment center late this year.
Renovation work will transform a former cabinet store at 2627 Crystal Ave. in Findlay into a house where 12 people can overcome substance abuse. Century Health purchased the property earlier this month.
The treatment center, including renovations, will cost about $600,000. The project is being funded with public and private money.
“This is the largest project we have ever done that we can say is public, private, faith-based,” said Precia Stuby, executive director of the Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board. “We are putting all those funds to create that safety net so that people can get help.”
Officials hope to begin care at the 3,750-square-foot property by December.
Residential treatment centers remove patients from the lifestyle that led to their addictions, said Tina Pine, executive director of Century Health.
Pine said a manager will select residents by assessing cases. Staff will monitor them all day, she said.
Residents will stay until completing their program. The average stay is about three to nine months, Pine said.
Specialized substance abuse assistance offers vital support, Stuby said.
“By and large, you’re on a deeper end of a problem before you would need residential treatment,” Stuby said.
Recent trends suggest many of the patients will be battling painkiller abuse, Stuby said. Treatment centers restrict residents from obtaining drugs and teach them to resolve problems, she said.
The property will have individual bedrooms and an outdoor area for residents. The remaining woodwork from its days as a cabinet store adds a “homey feel” worth preserving, Stuby said.
Residents will receive more intensive treatment than outpatient care, totaling about four to five hours per day, Stuby said.
“If you can piece together 90 days of no use, then you have a 50 percent chance of being substance-free at the end of a year,” Stuby said.
That rate falls to 10 percent without those drug-free three months, she said.
Many addicts carry a false stigma that the problem is a character defect and not a disease, said Dr. Bill Kose, chief quality officer at Blanchard Valley Hospital.
The center will follow medically sound treatment and encourage others to seek help, said Kose.
Providing this service can curb the “revolving door” of substance abuse where abusers end up in the hospital’s intensive care unit or the county jail, Kose said.
Contributions to the project have come from the Ohio Department of Mental Health, the Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board, Marathon Petroleum Corp., and Century Health. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati provided a $180,000 grant.
Huntington Bank is providing financing.
St. Andrews United Methodist Church is also contributing to the project, said Pastor Debbie Kaylor.
“Certainly addiction crosses socioeconomic boundaries. We have people within our congregation who need it, and I’m sure that’s true of every congregation in town,” Kaylor said.
The church hopes to provide services to the center residents as well, Kaylor said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a corrected version of this story.