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Facility moving forward

Drug, alcohol treatment facility in the works

BARNESVILLE — Village officials learned last week that plans are moving forward to open a drug and alcohol withdrawal management facility in Barnesville.

During a meeting held last Tuesday, Mayor Dale Bunting said that the village had been looking to partner with Barnesville Hospital to utilize the Bohandy Building which the village purchased last year.

The large building in the center of Barnesville’s downtown was in danger of being lost due to years of neglect and village officials approved several emergency measures to repair the masonry and roof of the structure.

Cynthia Touvelle, Chief Nursing Officer of Barnesville Hospital, gave an overview of the proposed program, saying that the hospital, in collaboration with Crossroads Counselling and The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Belmont County, saw the need for what is referred to as a 3.7 withdrawal management program.

She went on to say that the eight-bed in-patient facility would be for people who were seeking help with recovering from addiction and needed medical assistance to get through the withdrawal stage of recovery.

She stressed that the patients would be scheduled, voluntary admissions that would usually last between five and seven days with 24/7 medical supervision and counselling services before being discharged to continue the recovery process with further outpatient treatment.

She continued, saying that in order for the program to be successful they would need six of the eight beds to be filled, but they absolutely believed that would be achieved and suspected there would be a waiting list.

Shannon Watson, Director of Crossroads Counselling said the program would be comparable to the Breakthru program at Reynolds Memorial Hospital and said she hoped it would be primarily used for those going through alcohol and benzodiazepene withdrawal since withdrawal from those substances can be fatal, thus requiring a medically managed environment.

Benzodiazepenes include common tranquilizers such as Valium, Librium, Xanax and Ativan.

She said the only nearby facilities besides the one at Reynolds are located at Trinity Health in Steubenville and another in New Lexington Ohio and that there are constant waiting lists for their beds.

She explained that if someone is ready to begin the detox process and you turn them away due to lack of space you are likely to not see them again.

She also said that patients will be discharged to one of many levels of care, the most common being one of Crossroads’ residential facilities in the area.

In response to Councilman Les Tickhill’s concerns over security, Watson said that while they have security cameras monitoring all of their facilities and they work very closely with local law enforcement they rarely have needed their intervention for security reasons.

Lisa Ward, Associate Director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Belmont County explained that the program was being developed using grant funds and that they had been working with Barnesville Hospital to create a budget and a timeline and they were targeting May for the opening of the facility.

Also during the Nov. 12 meeting:

Village Administrator Roger Deal said that there were still biodegradeable leaf bags available at the Water Department Office for those who wanted to use them and that village crews would still pick those bags up for residents who used them for leaf disposal.

Deal also said he felt confident that the village would secure an OPWC road paving grant to pave all or part of 18 streets next summer.

Council also approved Deal’s request to advertise the village’s bulk chemical bid for next year and approved a building permit for Dale Drake to construct an addition at 167 Pine Lane.

Mayor Bunting announced Mayor’s Court figures for the month of October saying the state received $1,212, the county received $45, and the village received $2,098 for a total of $3,355.

Bunting also congratulated the Barnesville Little Rocks 4th and 5th grade football team and coaches for placing 4th at the Youth Football State Championships held in Sandusky.

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