New Addiction Treatment Center Set To Open In North Country

Oct 19, 2018

At the end of the month, a new addiction treatment center will open in Clinton County. It will provide both detox and rehabilitation services for Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties and will be the only such facility in Northeastern New York.

The Residential Stabilization Rehabilitation Center in Schuyler Falls, just outside of Plattsburgh, will be operated by the Champlain Valley Family Center. The nearest facility has been in Potsdam — nearly two hours away. Champlain Valley Family Center Director Connie Willie explains the new center will provide detox, stabilization and outpatient substance abuse services.   “We’re going to have two operating certificates from New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  One is going to be for a level of care called stabilization. Those that are in mild to moderate withdrawal and in our area the top substances of abuse are both alcohol and opiates. The other operating certificate we have is for residential rehab. And we are going to help them work on their disease. We’re going to be working on a lot of issues with our folks with a primary focus on getting these individuals helping these individuals get into recovery from their substance abuse disorder.”

Plans for the facility have been in the works for more than four years, and advocates have said its opening is critical. Willie says over the years of planning, the need has increased while access to treatment has worsened.   “Canton-Potsdam Hospital previously had a detox service. That’s about an hour and a half from here. And their detox beds have been closed and have been shifted to Gouverneur Hospital which again adds probably another 35 minutes to a transport. And beyond that the next closest would be in the Albany area. So yeah the service is needed and we are thrilled to make it available to residents of the North Country.”

Alliance for Positive Health Regional Director Diana Aguglia believes there will be greater opportunities to obtain services through referrals to the new treatment center.   “We gauge their level of readiness for treatment when they come through the doors during our syringe exchange clinic hours.  Sometimes they will literally walk in the door and say I’m ready. You know we’ll ask them what can we help you with and they’ll say I don’t want syringes today I want you to pick up the phone and get me into treatment. So they know that we can connect them. We have those relationships in the community and we can connect them to treatment pretty quickly. They might walk through our door first and ask us to connect them to Connie’s program or they may just show up at Connie’s door as well.”

The newly created MHAB Enterprises plans to open new transitional housing on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base for the homeless and people recovering from addiction in early 2019.  President Mike Carpenter says the goal is to help individuals following treatment.  “We’re looking for what we can do when they get out and they’re feeling really good. They gotten intense treatment, dietary things, all of the things that they need so that they have some modicum of health and now they’re going back into the real world and quite possibly they don’t have a place to live they don’t have a job to return to. They may be in financial distress. There may be a lot of problems. We want to soften that blow for when they leave. So we want to give them a temporary transitional environment that will allow them to continue in some form of outpatient treatment, learn some of the skills that they weren’t able to learn in such a short time in one of the rehabs and then get them to a place where they’re able to move into permanent housing with secure employment so that they can take care of themselves.”

The Champlain Valley Family Center will hold an open house and tours of the new Recovery Campus on Friday, October 26th.