Wood County Commission seeks coordination on addiction services

PARKERSBURG — With drug treatment facilities slated for the area, the Wood County Commission wanted a better coordination of services available to those dealing with drug addiction treatment.

The Wood County Commission discussed the growing need for drug addiction treatment and support within the community at its Thursday meeting.

With facilities planned in Parkersburg and at Mountwood Park, the commission wanted to better inform people about what is available locally.

Delegate John Kelly, R-Wood, is working on a bill to be introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates after the legislative session begins in early February. Kelly said he wants to see work done in establishing treatment facilities statewide. He has been working on a bill that would create 600 long-term treatment beds statewide with 100 being slated for Wood County.

These would be above and beyond what is already planned for the area, with plans by Recovery Point West Virginia to set up a facility on Emerson Avenue and plans to set up a facility at the White Oak Village at Mountwood Park.

Kelly said it was his understanding that both of those projects would be places where people would have to pay for their treatment.

The bill is proposing treatment programs which would be funded through Medicaid and other assistance money set aside for drug treatment which falls outside of what those two programs are proposing for the area, Kelly said.

Despite what Kelly believed, Recovery Point West Virginia facility planned at 4200 Emerson Ave. was not going to be a “pay as you go” facility, Commission President Blair Couch said.

“It will take all comers by my understanding,” he said. “The one at Mountwood will be more intensive and will be out-of-network and could be a partial pay by insurance and partial pay by the individuals.”

Recovery Point officials have said when their facility opens, clients can be referred to Recovery Point from behavioral health providers and the judicial system or check themselves in. The organization receives about 65 percent of the cost for services from the state, with the rest covered by donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropic organizations, they said.

It will be at no cost to the individual, and they don’t bill insurance either, officials said.

Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said both groups will have “different philosophies.”

Recovery Point will be more “peer to peer” driven by people who have gone through recovery and are there to help others, he said. What is being proposed for White Oak Village is more clinical with physicians and counselors.

“They are two different options,” Lefebure said. “Some work for some people and sometimes don’t work for other people. They are different and the funding would be different.”

Couch hoped either group would be able to take someone, from time to time, who is going through the criminal justice system.

Commissioners talked about how there were recovery groups who have regular meetings throughout the community at churches and how many of them are unknown except to a few people.

“There is no website or anything telling anyone what is in Wood County,” Couch said.

Commissioners wanted to see if something could be done to list these programs and keep it updated on a regular basis.