An old, vacant nursing home in Amherst may soon become one of the state's leading opioid recovery facilities.
Lorain County Commissioners proposed the idea as they work to fight the growing opioid epidemic.
"We're losing, in this county, four-plus individuals a week due to overdose deaths. Every week that we can move this up, is an opportunity to save more lives," said The LCADA Way President and CEO Thomas Stuber.
LCADA is a wellness and recovery center that would offer treatment within the newly proposed facility. Stuber said he's seen firsthand the devastation the opioid epidemic has caused over the last few years.
"I've been in the field 38 years and I've never seen anything quite so dramatic, intense and catastrophic," he said.
The proposed recovery facility would offer detox treatment, rehabilitation and safe patient housing.
"The need is there, we have waiting lists," said Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board Executive Director Elaine Georgas.
She said 6,300 people in Lorain County could use a facility, just like the one commissioners proposed.
"Our system right now serves about 17 percent of them, about 1,100 only. So, we have a gap of people that need help and can't get help when they're ready," Georgas said.
"Traditional treatment models are not working with the opioid-addicted individual, so we need to expand treatment, intensify treatment and provide treatment over a longer duration and those individuals can recover," Stuber said.
If all goes as planned, the nearly 90-year-old former Golden Acres nursing home off North Ridge Road may soon be one of the top treatment facilities in the state.
Lorain County commissioners need about $850,000 to fix up the building. The county is requesting $500,000 from the state, which they hope is approved soon.
Once the county is given the green light, partners believe they'll have the facility running within months.