DUBOIS – Drugs have been throughout the news in recent weeks, with drug store robberies to interstate interdictions to homes being burglarized for prescription medications.
Kathy Jones of RHJ Medical Center Inc. sees a need in the area for treatment of the opiate dependent. Jones, CEO of the medically assisted drug treatment facility, pointed out recent events as reasons why her company is needed in the area.
“We came here to try to help with a problem,” said Jones.
Jones discussed a variety of issues with the GantDaily News Team. One of which was the possible Act 10 issue brought up by DuBois City Solicitor Toni Cherry. Jones said that the site was reviewed and licensed by the Department of Health. She stated that she did not believe the Department of Health would license the center if they believed there to be an Act 10 violation.
Act 10 is a Municipalities Planning Code that prohobits the establishment of a methadone treatment facility within 500 feet of certain facilities or parks. The park in question here is the Beaver Meadow Walkway.
At Monday’s meeting of Dubois City Council, Cherry presented the media with a letter addressed to Jones. Jones said she only just received the letter Wednesday, but that copies were forwarded to the state and RHJ’s attorney.
Jones said that RHJ will go forward, though.
“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but we’ll do what we have to do,” said Jones.
“If they (DuBois City Council) decide to pursue anything, then we’re prepared to react to their actions,” added Jones.
Jones discussed the physical and psychological screenings potential candidates must go through before treatment can began. Patients are evaluated to determine if the treatment RHJ provides is even right for the them.
Jones talked about safety measures that the staff uses to ensure not only the safety of of the patients, but also the public.
In some instances, Jones said the the staff will refuse treatment and take the keys from patients who may have taken other drugs or drank alcohol prior to their appointment. Jones said the staff will call a cab for these patients.
While RHJ is mandated to give patients a minimum of one random drug testing a month, Jones said that if a patient shows signs of drug or alcohol use, the staff can test them again.
Jones stated that once a patient reaches their stabalyzing dose, they will become very functional and can even be productive members of society.
Part of the treatments also include counseling. Jones said that if a patient shows a need for more counseling or more in-depth counseling, RHJ will refer patients to doctors who might be able further help them.
RHJ Medical Center Inc. opened its doors on Oct. 10 after speaking with the state. Currently the facility is operating at limited hours, but has the capability to expand their hours as the need calls for it. It is the second RHJ facility, with the other located in Hunker.
RHJ marks the second drug treatment facility in Clearfield County; the other is Discovery House in Pike Township.