Stabilization Center to Open in Anne Arundel

As Anne Arundel County continues to see a rise in opioid overdoses — ranking third in the state for overdose deaths over the past couple of years — a new stabilization center offers a tool to help address the crisis.

The Capital Gazette reports on the new center and opines as to the impact it will have on the county:

But later this month the county will be able to celebrate some good news. Robert A. Pascal Youth and Family Services is about to open a new “stabilization center” at the former state psychiatric hospital in Crownsville. Many hope this will be a game-changer.

This is a joint venture between the nonprofit and Gaudenzia, which operates a drug and alcohol treatment center out of the same location.

The idea is to give police officers, often the first people on the scene of an overdose, another option besides putting those involved in jail, dropping them off at an emergency room or just walking away.

Officers will be able to take overdose victims to the center for an evaluation and guidance on the best course of action. The 5,000-square-foot, 16-bed facility will have mental health clinicians who can determine what level of treatment is needed, using emergency psychiatric assessment.

It is a similar approach to the county Crisis System, created to help police deal with people suffering severe mental health problems. That’s not a coincidence, as the executive director of Pascal Youth and Family Services is Katherine Bonincontri, a former director of the Crisis System.

The article notes that work at the center is slated to begin on April 24, 2017.

Read The Capital Gazette to learn more.