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CenClear Opens Another Facility in Clarion to Serve Those With Addiction Issues

Saturday, November 16, 2019 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Jill McDermott

CenClear aCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – CenClear officially cut the ribbon at its new Clarion location on Wednesday at 627 Wood Street.

In 2015, the nonprofit facility that provides mental health and drug and alcohol treatment opened its first facility in Clarion on South 7th Street.

There are also locations in Brookville and DuBois.

The facility will serve those who have addiction issues with drugs, alcohol, and gambling. The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs estimates more than 300,000 of the state’s citizens are affected by gambling problems.

Resting by the front door is a small, painted rock with the message “Always Give 100%.” Inside, similar rocks are scattered along hallway walls, each bearing an encouraging message, such as “Never Give Up.” The rocks were created by patients as they underwent therapy.

CenClear clinical Supervisor Derek Parker says addiction services are needed, especially in rural areas.

“Clarion is not unique in some of its needs,” Parker said. “Rural counties have a lot of problems with alcohol, methamphetamines, and up and coming drugs.”

Patients come to CenClear in a number of ways: some are referred by the courts, others come by way of social service agencies or schools. And – some walk through the front door on their own.

Most of the funding for CenClear comes from insurance; however, the agency accepts patients without insurance, as well.

“The Armstrong, Indiana and Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission also provides funding for individuals that aren’t insured,” Parker explained.

Funds from the Drug and Alcohol Commission come on a per-patient basis and not in a lump sum.

CenClear’s Clarion location provides medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, for adult patients. MAT allows for the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and opioids.

The medications ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. They may also reduce the chances of an overdose, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

According to nurse Corrin Reffner, overall wellness is also a part of CenClear’s program.

“We talk about lifestyle changes they can make to promote their overall health,” Reffner said. “(A program) to help them manage their weight, manage their blood pressure, and getting them to see a doctor. These are things that they might not necessarily prioritize when they are actively using.”

Parker explains that when treating addictions, one of the challenges is keeping up with the current drug of choice.

“Our staff is required to go to 24 hours of training every year,” Parker said.

“A lot of that is focused on emerging ways of dealing with the different drugs that are coming out whether that be synthetics, methamphetamine, or alcohol. We’re always working on improving our clinical skills.”

Of course, not all “new” drugs are actually “new.”

For example, Parker talks about “bath salts,” a synthetic designer drug that gets its name because it is granular or crystal-like in appearance, similar to Epsom salts. They are often in such a way that they look like candy and feature cartoon characters on the label. While widely banned now, they were once available in places such as convenience stores.

“Bath salts were actually explored during the Vietnam War era as a potential treatment for PTSD,” Parker explained. “Then, it went away forever, and then it came back as a drug that people are abusing now. A lot of times we look at New York and see what’s going on there and that’s going to be what comes here next. A lot of these trends start other places, then they come here.”

Parker said his goals are to provide the best possible care and to help curb and reduce the county’s drug addiction rate.

He emphasized that he doesn’t want people to be embarrassed to walk through the front door.

“The first step in recovery is just taking that first step. Come in, our services are confidential. Come in, meet us, and give it a try.”

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