The City Needs To Make The Treatment Program A Reality
The wheels of government move slowly — but in the case of a new 100-slot opioid treatment program in Jamestown, thank goodness they moved at all.
Too many Jamestown-area families have been locked in a battle with drug addiction that often could only be won with a trip to treatment facilities in Buffalo. Of course, Buffalo has its own population fighting addiction issues, so Jamestown patients weren’t always guaranteed a bed in the programs in Buffalo. Not every Chautauqua County resident who needs help fighting their opioid addiction can get to Buffalo or has the ability to pay for treatment.
It is good news that Jamestown will receive funding for a 100-slot opioid treatment program. The program will add to the existing substance use disorder services already in place at the Jones Memorial Health Center at 51 Glasgow Ave. and will include an outpatient program and a residential treatment program. UPMC Chautauqua will be able to provide all three FDA-approved medicines for addiction (methadone, buprenorphine and vivitrol).
Now comes the bad news. UPMC and the state OASAS program have to undergo a feasibility study to determine how much capital funding will be available for the facility. It will then take time to either build the facility or do the construction needed at the Jones Memorial Health Center before actually opening the center.
We hope the feasibility and construction process moves quickly. A lot of people have worked long, hard hours to advance the Jamestown treatment center to this point. As a community, we should appreciate their efforts. At the same time, the years of work to get to this point have come at the cost of people who have lost their battle with addiction because they couldn’t get into treatment programs. That realization should put a renewed urgency into the efforts to quickly clear the final hurdles to get Jamestown’s treatment program from news release to reality.