Setting up a substance abuse recovery center in Wyoming County was under discussion on Tuesday.
The Wyoming County Recovery Network met at the 911 Center in Pineville.
A community assessment done in May showed that “far and away the most pressing problem (in the county)” was substance abuse, reported Fred Cox of the Health Department.
A report last year that the county ranked high nationally in overdose deaths “was very concerning to me,” he said.
Those were among the factors which led to exploration into establishing a recovery center.
Kim Walsh, deputy commissioner of the state’s Bureau of Behavorial Health, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Every community is different, every need is a little bit different,”Walsh said. “My preference is to go out and talk to people.”
She said the number of recovery beds in the state has tripled in recent years from 440 to 1.050.
“We still have some work to do,” Walsh commented.
The capacity for a Wyoming County facility has not been decided, although 12 and 20 are under consideration.
Walsh said her department could provide $85,000 annually and a per diem per bed.
She estimated the total budget for the recovery facility at $230,000.
Walsh noted there were several options for a building— buy, rent and build-lease.
Travel “can be an obstacle (for people) going to or back from treatment,” she remarked.
Emergency Services Director Dean Meadows asked about the turn around time on reimbursements.
Walsh said it could be a matter of days to two months but, when required, she had “walked it through” to make sure entities get their money.
“I always encourage people to do ongoing fundraising and have a funding plan,” Walsh observed.
Melanie Davidson of Highland Recovery also spoke to the group.
Among the decisions the Wyoming County group would have to make, she noted, was whether the center would serve men or women.
Because the women often have children, there are often other issues to be considered.
Personnel required for the center would include a community engagement specialist and a recovery coach.
A board of directors, with membership ranging from 5 to 11, was also recommended.
The Recovery Network will meet again in two weeks.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.