Residential drug treatment center opens in Park Heights

May 03, 2002|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A new public residential drug treatment center opened yesterday in Northwest Baltimore - the first new facility in 30 years - and city officials hope it will create more bed space for addicts wishing to become clean.

The facility at 4615 Park Heights Ave. will hold 135 people. It will be run by Gaudenzia Inc., a 34-year-old company that has more than 40 treatment sites throughout Pennsylvania.

The facility will offer outpatient and residential programs for substance-abuse treatment, as well as prevention and education.

It also will provide specialized programs for pregnant women and women with children, individuals with mental health and drug problems, homeless people and people with HIV/AIDS.

Baltimore has an estimated 60,000 drug addicts. The city has 7,681 treatment slots for addicts and 543 residential treatment beds.

Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson, who attended the opening with Mayor Martin O'Malley, said he was pleased that Park Heights residents welcomed the center into their neighborhood.

"The region needs to take responsibility the way Park Heights has taken responsibility," Beilenson said.

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