Only Drug Rehab in Kings County May Close

June 17, 2009 6:11:21 PM PDT
Five to six-hundred people a year get help from Kings County's only live-in drug rehab center, Cornerstone Recovery. But now ... with a majority of its funding in jeopardy, they may have to close.Hundreds of people in Kings County looking for treatment of drug addictions have found themselves here at Cornerstone Recovery System. The up-to-90 day live-in treatment program can be a vital way to get people sober and back on track.

Kings Co. Behavioral Health Dir. Mary Anne Ford Sherman said, "It's the constant oversight it's the constant accountability and the support is uninterrupted in residential care."

Ford Sherman says the state is proposing to eliminate funding for prop 36 which allows for live-in treatment in replace of jail time for addicted drug users facing drug-related charges. That means most of the half-million dollars the county would get will no longer go to Cornerstone. Ford Sherman says if Cornerstone shuts down other county services will be greatly impacted.

"It also elevates the risk for emergency room usage for individuals who might have or experience a psychiatric emergency or an overdose that they wouldn't typically experience in residential care," said Ford Sherman.

It will also put more pressure on outpatient services.

Sue Weisenhaus-Braz said, "The populations that we serve I would say 90% are meth users and that's huge."

Weisenhaus-Braz is the Director of Champions, which provides outpatient services and runs "Hannah's House" ? an up-to two-year live-in rehab program for women and their children. They receive many of Cornerstone's female patients when they leave and are at full capacity right now.

Officials at Cornerstone refused to talk to us about the situation. Their Board of Directors is meeting Wednesday night and are expected to talk about what ... if any ... options they have.

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