Clinton County will soon have an addiction treatment center. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement Friday that will bring a detox center to a region that has been lacking such a facility.
The addiction treatment facility will be located in the currently vacant Adirondack Residential Center in Schuyler Falls, just outside of Plattsburgh. It will offer detox, stabilization, residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment. The closest facilities for addicts seeking treatment are in Potsdam and Albany, several hours away. Experts say that has been detrimental for both patients and families.
The new center will be operated by the Champlain Valley Center for Drug Treatment and Youth Services, which is certified by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Executive Director Constance Wille says they plan to have eight beds, daily walk-in service and a satellite clinic. “That whole part of our system is missing right now in terms of a detox service. What that usually results in is the person returning to use. Withdrawal from, especially the opiates, is very, very, very ugly. And meanwhile in the backs of their mind they know that some sort of an opiate pill or heroin will completely remove all of those symptoms. Interrupting that and helping the people when they’re asking for it and want to be helped is absolutely critical. It’s a critical phase to helping people engage in recovery.”
The North Country’s Albany representatives have been lobbying for a treatment center.
Assemblywoman Janey Duprey, a member of the chamber’s minority Conference Task Force on Heroin Addiction, is delighted that the program will start up in Plattsburgh. “It’s a much needed service. Those at the hospital have talked about the number of addicts who show up there and the minute they get Narcan or something they want to leave. Well now there’s going to be collaboration to have counselors immediately go and see these folks. It will be a three to seven day detox program. When you talk to addicts, and I have, the pain that they go through during this time is just absolutely excruciating so unless they’re in jail or in this setting where someone is with them the best option is to go get high again. That’s the cycle we have to break.”
Senator Betty Little says it’s crucial to get a residential treatment center established in the northeast corner of the state. “Previous to this you had to Albany or Syracuse or farther away and then the family can’t be involved because it is so far away. So something had to be done and we really needed a facility. We had a meeting of people from the hospital, OASAS, Champlain Valley Family Services, a number of different groups were at it and decided that this was what we needed. We needed a detox facility where people could go and be in residence and have treatment.”
The Champlain Valley Center for Drug Treatment and Youth Services will meet with architects in March to discuss renovation requirements. No opening date will be set until after they determine what it will take to get the building ready for patients.