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Recovery center planned on Park Road

The former GrandView Pharmacy building on Park Road will be transformed into an addiction residential recovery centerwith a $1 million grant from Purdue Pharma to Fayette Regional Health System.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

When Fayette Regional Health System opened the North Star Recovery Center in late June, many people asked about the next step in the recovery process.

An answer came Thursday with the announcement the hospital has received a $1 million grant from Purdue Pharma to renovate the former GrandView Pharmacy building at 2330 Park Road into an adult residential treatment center.

The proposed 30-bed recovery center would serve men and women who will be presented with structured living and programming for a minimum of 28 days.

The Eldridge family donated the former pharmacy building to the Fayette Regional Foundation, which gifted it to the hospital for the program.

This residency program typically follows detoxification treatment, and improves outcomes and chances of long term sobriety, according to a hospital press release. The facility will be staffed with psychiatrists, counselors, social workers and other staff who have experience helping people overcome the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

 

The grant and the new center will benefit the community by bringing new job opportunities and to help people recover, Mayor Harold Gordon said. Without the program, many people will go through detox but end back in the same situation as before and resume the addition. This will provide a better chance to get to a better situation.

The 46-bed North Star Recovery Center in the newly remodeled third floor at the hospital is a five- to eight-day detoxification process under a strict medical protocol.

The hospital operates an intensive outpatient recovery program through its facility at 1908 Park Road.

It can now offer a continuum of care from detox, to residential to outpatient services in the city, said Katrina Norris, Behavioral Health and Addiction Services director.

The patients accepted into the new residential center will be patients coming from North Star at the hospital as well as those who have been through detox at a different location, she said.

"For some people, the outpatient services would be the next step following residential treatment but for others it isn't," she explained. "In the logistics of things, if they are severe addiction, long-term addiction, they're probably going to detox first, residential second and have the follow-up outpatient services for support. Some people leave residential and go to transitional living like the House of Ruth."

It depends on the individual and specific needs because each human being is different, she said. The 28-day stay minimum is based on insurance coverage.

"Some insurances will pay up to four months and then some will only pay up to 30 days, but classic residential (treatment) is 28 days," Norris said. "What we are trying to do as a state is to get insurance companies to understand, that is not enough time for the brain to heal. They need more intensive structure because when they use drugs or alcohol and that's been your coping mechanism for so long, and all of a sudden you're asked not to use the coping mechanism that worked for you for decades, you have to retrain the brain."

No date has been set for construction to begin, Norris said.

The program will require an additional 20-30 staff members.

Staff positions for North Star have mostly been filled but there are still some open, she said. The residential program is not considered a medical facility, rather a substance abuse treatment center so the requirement for nurses and other medical positions is not as great. 

North Star is not up to capacity yet as the employees and hospital continue to learn all the processes.

"We're doing a lot of good and are getting a lot of positive feedback from our patients about the care and compassion of our staff members and so we are happy with the progress we've made," she said. "This is all for the greater good of the community as a whole.

"The healthier I can make this region the better off it is going to be in the long run for our workforce, county costs, incarceration and all that. You can't have a healthy society if you are lacking the resources to get them healthy."

Purdue Pharma is one of several pharmaceutical companies being sued by government entities across the country, including the city of Connersville and Fayette County, for introducing opioid pain-killing drugs that the lawsuit claims led to the opioid crisis.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim opioid sales generated $8 billion in profits in 2012 for the named companies, including $3.1 billion by Purdue for its drug Oxycontin.

 

Mayor Gordon said that lawsuit is continuing. The hope is it will make the pharmaceutical companies better control the drugs they are putting out to the public.