Middletown gets new heroin treatment center

100 overdoses in city in two months

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – With more than 100 heroin overdoses in just two months here, a new heroin treatment center is opening right at the nick of time.

Choices Behaviorial Health Care aims to help addicts change their behavior - and that’s the key, says regional director Robert Haley.

“It’s not about stopping a war or anything, it’s basically about getting people back to the way they were,” Haley said.

Choices is a medication-assisted treatment program that serves adults who have an opiate dependence, Haley said. Treatment includes individual therapy, case management services, intensive outpatient, substance abuse crisis intervention and drug testing.

Patients will receive the drug suboxone to help kick their addiction, Haley said.

“That has been the most effective intervention for this population, and there’s one other thing I can guarantee you with this substitution is we substitute behaviors,”  he said.

Haley says he and Choices have a lot of experience at dealing with the drug epidemic.

“I’ve been working with this population over 20 years in the Greater Cincinnati area and it’s always been around, but it’s just now they’re giving attention to it,” Haley said.

“When you look at it as a health crisis, you understand it just won’t disappear or go away.”

Recently the deadly combinations with fentanyl have raised the danger and concern for users.

“The thing about fentanyl, you just can't measure just how much is enough, and that’s the danger,” Haley said.

RELATED: Drug crisis in Ohio has shifted from heroin to fentanyl, official says

Haley said he understands the Middletown area has “a drastic, drastic” dependence on opioids. He applauded the efforts of other treatment centers, but added: “More support is needed at this time.”

When the Middletown center opens next week, it will give Choices eight Ohio locations, and the ninth is expected to open in Springfield this summer, Haley said.

WCPO's news partner, the Journal-News, contributed to this report.

SEE WCPO's coverage of the "Heroin Crisis in the Tri-State."

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