EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – A new recovery center wants to move to downtown East Liverpool, but a state law might prevent it from providing some forms of treatment for those addicted to drugs in the area.
It’s been seven months since East Liverpool Police released pictures of a young child in the backseat of a car with his grandmother and her boyfriend overdosed in the front. Police Chief John Lane said since then, the epidemic in the city has only gotten worse.
Family Recovery Center plans to expand to downtown East Liverpool, but its new location on Jackson Street is right around the corner from Wee the People daycare.
It’s 492 feet away and state law prohibits medication-assisted recovery with daily methadone treatment within 500 feet of a children’s facility.
Executive Director Eloise Traina said it was a lot of time and money lost.
“We looked out the back door, we looked across the properties. We did not go far enough, I guess, to take a look at that, though.”
The only way the facility would be allowed to open is if the daycare signed a waiver.
“Their concern is that because they have invested time and money, they don’t want all of that to go to waste,” said Amber Ramsey, president and owner of Wee the People.
Ramsey understands why the city needs a recovery center, but said the 500-foot law is in place for a reason.
“There’s a law for it, so there must be some kind of risk involved with having a facility of that type so close to the children and our facility.”
Chief Lane said something needs to be done for their city, but ultimately agreed with Ramsey.
“I’m kind of glad she’s stuck to her guns on this. It’s something she believes and she has that right.”
Traina said she just wishes people would realize that those who would get this treatment are already walking around the city freely.
“They’re already there. That’s nothing new to anyone’s economy, or wherever they live, or whatever neighborhood they’re in.”
Family Recovery Center is going to continue with the East Liverpool expansion by just providing the other treatments — including the medication treatment of suboxone and Vivitrol — which are allowed near children’s facilities. Traina said they do require their patients to do therapy in order to get the treatment.
They plan on starting services at the East Liverpool location this summer.