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Ex-Parkersburg armory to be drug treatment center

Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan Recovery Point of West Virginia will make the former National Guard Armory, at 4200 Emerson Ave., into its fourth location in West Virginia.
Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Jeff Baughan
Recovery Point of West Virginia will make the former National Guard Armory, at 4200 Emerson Ave., into its fourth location in West Virginia.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — A West Virginia organization is opening an addiction recovery center at 4200 Emerson Ave.

Recovery Point of West Virginia, which has three locations in the Mountain State, has announced it plans to turn the Integrated Community Services of Parkersburg Inc. building into a Level III Peer Operated Recovery Facility to house between 60 and 100 men.

Matt Boggs, the executive director of Recovery Point, said funding for the project has been secured through the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. The building is the old National Guard Armory.

“It’s a matter of tying up the legal ends to the project,” he said on Monday. “We’d like to start the renovations as soon as possible.”

Once work begins it will take between six months and a year to finish the project, Boggs said.

“Our model has been proven effective in Huntington and Bluefield,” Boggs said. “We are confident the addition in Parkersburg will provide positive outcomes, add another pathway of recovery and become an integral part of the continuum of care, providing hope and recovery to those suffering from the vicious cycle of substance-use disorders.”

Recovery Point, where clients can expect to reside 8-12 months, has established an advisory committee of 10-15 community individuals in recovery, behavioral health facilities, churches, judicial officials, homeless service providers and other addiction recovery organizations, according to Boggs.

Recovery Point of Huntington is a 100-bed, long-term, residential recovery program for men suffering from alcohol and substance abuse.

Since opening in January 2011, more than 120 men have graduated from the program. Recent statistics show more than 68 percent of graduates are sober for the first year after treatment. This is five times the national average for traditional treatment centers, Boggs said.

The Recovery Point model is built on two principles: unconditional love and personal accountability. Staff are graduates of the model.

Boggs said the “staff-to-client ratio is about 1 to 10” at the other facilities. Staff will mostly be graduates of the program as “we feel they would be better as mentors for clients since they have been through the program,” he said.

The organization plans to beautify the property, Boggs said.

“We’re going to clean it up, landscape and put a sign up to indicate who we are. We intend on being part of the community in a positive way,” Boggs said. “We like to help the community with volunteer projects.”

Boggs said Recovery Point had been looking for months at the Parkersburg area for a location.

“We saw the grant opportunity in Wood County and surrounding area,” Boggs said. “There was an identified need for additional services in the area.”

The non-medical detox and residential recovery program is provided at no cost to the individual alcoholic and addict. Residents contribute to their room and board in ways such as food preparation, housekeeping, building and grounds maintenance, security, peer-mentoring, and teaching.

By doing this, the organizations are able to keep costs at an average of $25 per person, per day. The average cost for a traditional treatment facility is $250 per day and less than the $50 per day it costs for a jail cell, Boggs said.

Recovery Point has locations in Charleston, Huntington and Bluefield.

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