Substance-abuse treatment center closes in Hellam Twp. without warning
Safe Haven Treatment Services closed its York County inpatient substance-abuse and detox facility without warning last month, about a year after opening.
The 29-bed center — made up of 11 detox and 18 residential beds — in Hellam Township launched in January 2017 and was contracted with the York/Adams Drug and Alcohol Commission to provide detox and rehabilitation services, according to Audrey Gladfelter, commission administrator.
That contract stipulated that Safe Haven was required to give the commission advanced warning if it was closing, according to Gladfelter, who said that didn't happen.
Instead, Gladfelter said she heard during the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 25, that Safe Haven had contacted another inpatient facility about taking some of its clients.
Gladfelter said she then contacted a company official early Friday, Jan. 26, and was told they were closing and that there were only a handful of residents left to be transferred.
The commission had minimal interaction with Safe Haven because the facility was primarily treating people with private insurance, but Gladfelter said she's disappointed to see the facility disappear during the current heroin/opioid crisis.
"We encounter individuals every week where we have to (send them) outside the county (for treatment) — sometimes hours away," she said.
There were 128 confirmed heroin/fentanyl-related overdose deaths in York County during 2017, according to the York County Coroner's annual report.
Gladfelter said it's "pretty unusual" for an inpatient treatment provider to close so abruptly, though she was told by a company official that a financial backer had dropped out suddenly.
Safe Haven still operates an outpatient center in York City and several recovery houses around the county.
Company officials did not return a call requesting comment.
The facility, at 5849 Lincoln Highway, was last inspected by the state Department of Health on Nov. 6 as a result of an on-site complaint investigation by the Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure, according to online records.
The inspection notes that the facility was without running water for a five-day period in early November, and they failed to follow their own emergency procedures by evacuating residents to a proper substitute facility during that period.
Records pertaining to inspections at the center have been requested by The York Dispatch via the state Right-to-Know Law.
— Reach David Weissman at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.