Wirt Q&A to discuss recovery facility

ELIZABETH — The Wirt County Recovery Team will be holding a question and answer session with the public in order to convince the people of their county about the need of a transitional living facility for drug addicts.

The event will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wirt County Courthouse in Elizabeth.

Kimberly Richards, peer support specialist at the WCRT, said people need to understand how prevalent addiction is in Wirt County.

“It seems a lot of people in the county don’t think we have a problem,” she said.

Richards said the transitional living home is the culmination of the efforts of eight people for the last four years. She said for the first three years the group didn’t operate under a title, then formed the WCRT last year.

“Now we are working on getting our non-profit status,” she said.

Richards said she has heard concerns from the community that having a home for addicts in the county seat will bring the worst kinds of people into Elizabeth.

“The problem is already here,” she said. “We have zero resources like this in the county.”

Wirt County Sheriff Travis Corbitt said the residents of his county need to understand the addicts that will be receiving help at the new facility will be home grown, and not brought in from other areas.

“We’re not talking about bringing in people that aren’t already here,” he said. “Maybe that’s what the meeting will hopefully help them understand.”

Currently, Richards said her organization has to drive all over the county to give the care needed to people addicted to drugs.

“We have general resources available in our county to help people with substance abuse problems. If we get a recovery house, all the services will be available at one location,” she said. “(The residents) just don’t want it in their back yard.”

Even though the home won’t officially be a treatment facility, Richards said it will offer an addict a safe place to stay away from bad influences while waiting for a bed at a rehabilitation clinic. She said by the time an addict needs services from the WCRT, they aren’t left with many options.

“Most of these addicts have burned every bridge,” she said.

“Having the addicts wait seven to nine days for a bed (at a rehab) to open up is the problem. People will end up spending time doing the same things with the same people while waiting,” Corbitt said. “The house will give them a drug free place to stay.”

Richards said she isn’t sure what questions will be asked, or what the general mood of the public will be at the meeting. She said she hopes the meeting will be a success, but that it all depends on the people of Wirt County.

“We’re really not sure what to expect,” she said. “But we want the input from the community before we set anything in stone…we just have to make it through Thursday.”

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