New Franklinton center to provide addiction treatment, resources

A new center that opened Tuesday in Franklinton is designed to help provide for those fighting or recovering from an addiction while providing other services and resources.

The center, called Stop Addiction for Everyone Resource (SAFER) Station, located at 368 W. Park Ave. will be open 20 hours a week Monday through Saturday, but will increase hours as staff are hired. The facility will offer a multidisciplinary approach to community needs.

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Franklin County commissioners, who have championed the project, say the center will provide the availability of addiction treatment services as well as primary wound care and support services, such as social service claims, state ID cards, birth certificates and more that may be needed to access treatment.

“It is important for this community to know that everyone at SAFER Station can be trusted and that we are here to be a good neighbor and a resource,” Commissioner John O’Grady said. “Those who come to this center will face no judgement, no demands; they will only find staff who will listen and want to help.”

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SAFER Station first started as a program in Whitehall through the County Office of Justice Policy and Programs. However, due to the workload of the first responders, the program was not feasible in the long term. The new center uses a variation of the same model, including walk-in appointments.

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The center has a registered social worker on staff who has extensive experience in case management and support services, including helping clients who have completed hospital treatment and are living alone again. The SAFER station will also have community health workers and peer helpers to help with screening, case management, recovery support and education.

The center had a private opening on Tuesday for community members, area businesses and non-profit organizations to provide the opportunity for meeting center staff.

In 2021, Franklin County reported 825 overdose deaths, the county’s second highest total ever. According to data from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, 89% of those deaths were attributed to fentanyl.

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