At new Oak House facility in Painesville, drug addicted women can bring kids

Published: Apr. 13, 2016 at 7:21 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2016 at 9:55 PM EDT
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PAINESVILLE, OH (WOIO) - The ribbon has now been cut to officially open the new Oak House drug treatment facility in Painesville.

The Oak House is part of the Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers' program. It provides drug treatment for women, and now the new $1.4 million facility has the amenities to allow for women to bring their children who are under the age of five with them.

Rachael is a mother of two who came to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Oak House. She completed the Lake-Geauga Recovery treatment program for her heroin addiction. She went to treatment at the old Oak House facility, which is located next door to the new facility.

She finally agreed to get help after hitting rock bottom.

"Sitting in jail, court, getting arrested, not being able to pick up my daughter at the babysitter's because I got arrested was pretty much my rock bottom," described Rachael, who only wanted to be known by her first name.

Rachael's parents took care of her kids while she went through treatment. She knows how important it is though, that women have the option of bringing their young children with them. That's why the new Oak House treatment facility in Painesville is so important.

"I didn't really think about going to treatment. I kind of used, 'I'm a mom, I don't want to be away from my kids,' and everything like that, but then talking with everybody, you know, knowing that I could bring her either way, was a good choice for me," added Rachael.

The old Oak House next door allowed women and their children, but space was limited.

"The facility was really not large enough to accommodate more than two children," said Melanie Blasko, the President and CEO of Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers. "So, we really wanted to expand that and provide larger rooms for a mom to come with her infant or toddler."

The new "Oak House" facility can accommodate 16 women and is already full.

Jennifer just completed the program housed at the old Oak House facility. She struggled with opioid addiction.

"Get help. Do it. Don't be scared. There is help. There's hope, and it starts with a phone call," Jennifer said.

The Oak House just celebrated the birth of their 13th baby born drug-free as a result of their program. With the new facility, pregnant women who enter the treatment program can give birth to their babies and then don't have to leave the facility. They can return with their babies now.

The old Oak House will be repurposed to become Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers' new men's facility.

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