Council denies treatment permit

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Jerry Von Poks

Members of the Kenbridge Town Council voted to deny a special use permit addendum for a potential expansion for the Three Rivers Treatment Center and Academy at 231 Hickory Road during its meeting June 19.

The expansion was for a service line that would provide treatment for adults with substance abuse and opioid addiction.

Town Manager Robyn Fowler confirmed the vote, saying the decision by the council was “due to concerns of using the Town’s small police force and manpower.”

Three Rivers is a shortterm residential treatment center for children and adolescents with emotional or mental conditions.

Jerry von Poks, director of business development, requested a special use permit to add a substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment service line to the facility during the council’s May meeting.

He said the program would be between 21 to 28 days, required due to the opioid crisis.

“There’s definitely a need for it,” Von Poks said during the May meeting. “We feel that that is one way that we cannot only give back to the community at large, but also increase job opportunities as we are expanding.”

Town Mayor Emory Hodges, during the May meeting, said while the council would not take issue with the facility’s goal he noted concern about the size of the town police department, and said incidents related to overdose could potentially tie up members of the department for long spaces of time.

Von Poks said the participants would have to be medically stable and enter the center voluntarily. He also said that patients who have a dual diagnose, such as alcohol addiction and suicidal tendencies, would not be permitted in the facility. Von Poks also noted that there would not be detox services.

“The only way we would contact law enforcement is if they become truly out of hand,” Von Poks said.

Kenbridge Town Council member Daniel Thompson asked whether the adults and children in the facility were separated.

Von Poks said the adults and children would be separated at all times.