Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

October 16, 2013

Grayson Council backs treatment facility

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

Oct. 16, 2013 — Grayson City Council passed a unanimous resolution Tuesday night in support of the construction of a 100-bed inpatient drug rehabilitation facility in Grayson.

The center will be managed by Pathways and operated like the Morehead Inspiration Center, a similar facility the group oversees in Morehead.

Some members of the Council expressed concerns about keeping the city safe if patients are allowed to loiter in and around the city.

“Will these people have jobs? Will they be able to just come and go as they please and stand around outside the businesses in the city?” asked Council member Pam Nash.

According to representatives from Pathways, however, patients at the facility will not be able to leave the premises without supervision during the early stages of their treatment.

They also added that peer accountability is a strong deterrent that keeps patients in line as those who are further down the road in their recovery tend to intervene when they see a newer resident breaking the rules.

Morehead City Council member Carolyn Franzini was on hand at the meeting to talk about her experience with patients at the Morehead Inspiration Center.

In particular, she shared a story about a writing class she conducted at the facility.

“I was amazed. These guys wrote stories about meeting their wife, the birth of their first child, delivering a calf on a farm – stories about real life,” Franzini said. “I realized that they’re human beings just like everybody else.”

Carter Judge-Exectutive Charles Wallace threw his support behind the facility during the presentation.

“Everyone in this community has a family member that’s been touched by drug and alcohol addiction. If we can only help one person with this, then it’s a win,” said Wallace.

Pathways originally approached the Boyd County Fiscal Court for permission to locate the facility near the Cedar Knoll subdivision, but were met with strong opposition by neighborhood residents.

The facility will be located on C.W. Stevens Boulevard near K-Mart and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next February.

Magistrate Mary Ellen Greenhill summed up the thoughts of most in attendance, who conceded that there could be issues, but the potential benefits far outweigh the risks.

“Everything is not going to be perfect,” Greenhill said. “Nothing in life ever is. But we have to give these people an opportunity. It’s up to us to try to help them in any way that we can,” she said.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.