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'Safe haven' coming to Shady Lane to address opioid problem

Karlee Steffanni • Sep 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

There are several things in the works right now to address the opiod problem in Huron County and the surrounding areas, said Terry Boose, Huron County commissioner.

Boose said the commissioners’ office is working on a few different projects, including a peer-to-peer recovery center set to be located on Shady Lane in the building popularly known as Sarah’s House.

The center is being established by the commissioners’ office in partnership with F.I. Recovery Housing Inc., an organization that specializes in addiction recovery support services. 

Founder Denny Wilson said the recovery center will serve as a ‘safe haven’ for persons affected by addiction.

Wilson, a recovering addict himself, said he went through five different treatment options before something finally clicked. What worked for him, he said, was talking to someone who had been through a similar experience and achieving the kind of lifestyle he envisioned for himself.

“Evidence has shown that yes, all it really takes is for one person to have a genuine interest in someone else in order for their life to change and that’s what peer support and peer centers offer,” Wilson said.

Some of the services the recovery center will offer include counseling, education and referrals for persons with addictions and their families. The center also will be a place where people can attend meetings, seek support and use internet services to obtain employment.

“It’s going to be family-centered. Not just centered around those that are experienceing any types of challenges surrounding addiction or addiction recovery, but also (their) family members and loved ones,” Wilson said. 

Boose said he expects the facility to be opened officially “fairly soon.”

Also in the process of being built, in partnership with the Erie County Health Department is a detox center. The facility will be located somewhere in Erie County and upon completion, will offer 16 beds. 

The detox center will be available to persons seeking treatment, not just in Erie County, but in Huron and Ottawa counties as well. Boose said the three counties are working together “as far as things they can accomplish to combat this drug problem.”

The detox center is expected to be finished sometime this year.

Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light said he and his officers try to talk to people who are struggling with addiction and find out what works for them as far as treatment. He said many have emphasized that outpatient treatment, especially with opioid addiction, “is not working.”

“At some point, we’ve got to believe them,” Light added.

Boose said plans for a separate, recovery housing facility are also in the initial stages.

Ultimately, the facility would offer long-term housing for people in need of treatment, as well as people in recovery who are in need of support or assistance before they feel comfortable making the transition back into society on their own.

The facility will most likely be located in Erie County, though its services will be available to people in all Erie, Huron and Ottawa counties as well.

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