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$300K grant helps fund treatment center

By LOU WILIN
STAFF WRITER

A proposed residential treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction in Findlay won a $300,000 state grant Monday, enabling it to open in January 2015.

With 3,750 square feet at 2627 Crystal Ave., the center will fill a need for more intense treatment for those with alcohol and drug addictions.

Plans call for up to 12 clients at a time to stay for three months, said Tina Pine, executive director of Century Health.

“Research proves if someone can stay clean, sober and involved in positive treatment activities and address their addiction in a positive way, every day, for 90 days, then their chances of long-term recovery are so much more improved than someone who is in a program for a week and leaves,” she said.

“It is really being able to surround them with a different lifestyle than what they have become accustomed to, and a residential treatment program allows that. It takes them out of the environment, gets them away from those triggers that cause many people to go back to using … A lot of times it has to do with the people they are around, who their friends are, the places they are hanging out.”

Century Health bought the building for the treatment center, which does not yet have a name, for $150,000 in March. The metal structure with a brick facade once was a showroom for kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and woodworking. Then it became chiropractors’ offices, and served another health care agency.

Renovating it into a residential treatment center will cost $600,000. Century Health has already received donations of $180,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank, Cincinnati; $60,000 from St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church; $50,000 from Marathon Petroleum Corp.; $9,000 from the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services; and $500 each from Huntington Bank and Century Health.

The $300,000 grant approved by the State Controlling Board on Monday will provide the rest of the money needed to convert the building into a residential treatment center.

The nearest residential addiction treatment center is in Bowling Green, and many others are farther away, Pine said.

The center will have a staff of six, including peer recovery specialists, a nurse and a program director.

The peer specialists, who will provide 24/7 coverage, will have backgrounds in chemical dependency treatment and will be people who at one time suffered from addiction problems but are now in recovery.

“They have already walked the walk. So they will serve as a role model, support and guide for individuals that are there for treatment purposes,” Pine said.

Century Health outpatient counselors will go to the site to provide addiction treatment services.

“What I hear our substance abuse counselors talk about is that when someone uses for a period of time, it truly changes the chemistry of their brain and it’s that change that makes them become totally focused on their addiction,” she said. “So in order for the brain to change back to a healthier brain, you really need that abstinence and sobriety.”

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may be held at the site, too. Alcohol dependence is the most common diagnosis of Century Health clients, but opiate addiction is the fastest-growing diagnosis, Pine said. So, it is expected that many of the treatment center’s residents will have an opiate addiction, she said.

“Our clinicians are finding it very challenging to keep those people in recovery,” she said.

Charges for the treatment center have not been set yet. But Hancock County residents will be able to get subsidized care if they need it.

“If they don’t have the money, they still will be able to go to the facility because our local (Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services) board will cover the cost of that room and board. Treatment will be billed separately through insurance or Medicaid,” Pine said.

Those from outside Hancock County wanting to enter the treatment center would have to negotiate terms.

It is anticipated that many of the treatment center’s clients will be unemployed, so Jobsolutions will be working with clients to find jobs. Hancock Saves also will provide classes on budgeting and money management, Pine said.

Wilin: 419-427-8413
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