WILLIAMSON – Serenity Pointe, a purposed drug and alcohol facility project in Williamson to be modeled after Recovery Point W.Va., has been widely discussed at recent Williamson City Council meetings. This weekend, Recovery Point W.Va. issued a statement to the Williamson Daily News to clarify issues regarding supervision and medical treatment at the facility.
At last Thursday’s meeting of the Williamson City Council, Williamson residents, mayor and council, discussed Serenity Pointe, a proposed development by the Housing Authority of Mingo County, for a peer based drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility at the Sycamore Inn location and surrounding areas in downtown Williamson.
During the meeting, it was discussed that the proposed rehabilitation facility planned for Williamson is to be modeled after a peer based residential recovery center in Charleston known as Recovery Point.
At this point, Williamson residents and officials have little information concerning the proposed Serenity Point. At Thursday’s meeting, council voted to arrange a meeting with a representative from the Mingo County Housing Authority for the December 8 meeting of the Williamson City Council.
On Sunday, Lara Lawson, Director of Development for Recovery Point W.Va., released a statement which states that Recovery Point was unaware that the MCHA was planning on modeling Serenity Pointe on their facility. Lawson states, “No one from this town or the project has spoken to anyone at Recovery Point regarding the project as far as I am aware, Typically, people that want to emulate our model do contact us, and people contact us often to discuss ways they might build up their own program. If they have contacted us, I have not been informed on this and it may have been before I took on this role in September.”
Lawson also clarifies that supervision is provided at the facility and the facility is monitored 24 hours a day. Lawson explains that the facility is monitored by peer mentors that have complete nine to 12 months of the recovery program, and are held accountable by their involvement as a Recovery Point staff member. “However, the portrayal of Recovery Point as a facility with no supervision is inaccurate and misleading about our organization. Our facilities are monitored by paid staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The facility is also monitored by peer mentors, which are indeed peers, but have completed approximately 9-12 months of the recovery program already and are held as accountable as our staff. Our facilities are led by a Peer Recovery professional certified by the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals that is always on call. Our staff is also trained in CPR and vitals monitoring to keep a close watch on our detox unit clients. If there is ever an emergency medical need in our facility, 911 is called and the client is sent to a hospital until they are medically cleared to return to our residential program,” Lawson said.
Recovery Point is listed as a nonmedical facility. However, Lawson explained that residents do attend regular doctor appointments. “We are a non-medical facility, but our clients are seen by a doctor either on site or by transport to an appointment regularly. Our model is based on a peer-support model, and it works very well to help many people who suffer from substance use disorders enter into long-term recovery,” Lawson said.
Overall, Lawson expressed that the facility can provide a positive to the community. Lawson also states that more effort educating the community, and building community relationships and support is typically provided by developers. “We are a leading source of recovery support services in the state, and communities are brought together and begin to heal by the presence of our facilities and our clients. When we open a new facility, we spend a year or more building community support for the project. It is disheartening to read this story because it means that many people have not been properly educated about our programs. We are a very well-known and well-respected organization in the state and receive a large amount of state and federal grant funds along with private donations and foundation funding to support our programs thanks to our reputation.”
For more information, visit www.recoverypointwv.org.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)