Commission supports addiction recovery home

Beth Sergent

September 27, 2013

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has offered its formal support for the Mason County Recovery Home Project.

This support came in the form of an official letter unanimously signed by Commissioners Miles Epling, Rick Handley and Tracy Doolittle. The commission, like many other local entities, offered official support for the project which entails a $200,000 state grant pursued and managed by Prestera for the purpose of providing a level two recovery facility for those battling addition.

This facility, which would be located in a residential home in Mason County, is for those who are at a very high level of recovery. These will be people who have already gone through detox and rehabilitation. Those picked to live at the home will be required to have jobs and do community service.

The commission letter to Karen Yost of Prestera, said: “The Commission recognizes the vital role treatment, education, and counseling is to combating this county’s drug abuse problem. We were pleased to learn that the funds were available to start this program by way of a grant. The Commission supports your efforts to secure these funds so Mason County can proceed with the rehabilitation efforts that are needed by so many of our citizens.”

Commission President Rick Handley told the Point Pleasant Register he supports the recovery home because: “We all know someone who has a family member or close relative or neighbor who has been affected by someone with an addition. This (the home) is an opportunity to show these people (recovering addicts) we accept them and for them to contribute…it’s a way to hopefully bring them back into society and be good citizens in the community.”

Last month, Tim White with Prestera told residents attending a meeting on the home that these people battling addictions are already here - in short, having a recovery home in the community won’t be attracting a problem but hopefully, fixing it.

Handley said drug addition is affecting more people from many more walks of life. He said, in some cases, people don’t chose to become addicts, explaining there are some situations, where through surgery or a medical emergency, people become addicted to the very medicine meant to help them.

“We owe it to those who have a problem and are trying to work their way back to give them a second chance,” Handley said. “We can’t turn our backs.”

Mason County has not only borne the weight of drug addiction in families, the county has literally borne the weight of drug addiction financially by paying to house inmates in the regional jail at an alarming rate - many for drug related charges. This recovery home could also be an innovative way to address the financial aspect of literally paying for addiction.

Prestera operates similar facilities in Kanawha and Cabell counties - facilities which are basically homes. The recovery facility in Mason County would be located in a home (which has yet to be secured or location determined) large enough to house and serve 12 people - the community would also have to decide whether or not the facility would solely be used by male or female clients. Prestera staff would be at the house 16 hours a day. This will be a residential facility and would be a licensed Prestera facility as well - the county will have no money in the facility. White also said, if those in the home risk their sobriety or that of their roommates, they are immediately asked to leave. Residents at the home will also be in charge of maintenance on the property.

The grant application was due on Sept. 23 and was to be turned in by Yost. Though there was no date on when the grant would be awarded, the facility would be up and running six months from the award date if it is granted. The $200,000 would fund the home for a year, funding rent, staff and other operational costs. If the project is sustainable and successful, Prestera would continue to apply for the funding each year.