Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Substance abuse clinic closing

SAUGERTIES - A local alcohol and substance abuse clinic plans to permanently close its doors Friday.

Catskill Mountain Counseling on U.S. Route 9W notified the state last month that it would be voluntarily surrendering its operating certificate, according to Dianne Henk, director of communications for the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. She said the local clinic notified the state of its intentions to close in a letter received July 31. Since that time, the state agency has been working with the clinic on a termination plan, Henk said.

Henk said the termination plan is created to make sure patients have appropriate care at a new location. As part of the plan, arrangements need to be made to protect the patients' medical records, she said. The facility is currently treating 35 clients, Henk said.

"What will happen now is the clients will be given a choice of other programs to go to," Henk said. She said there are three other clinics in the area, one of which is in Kingston, that could serve the needs of Catskill Mountain Counseling's clients.

Catskill Mountain Counseling serves as an outpatient alcoholism and substance abuse clinic. It provides a full range of treatments for alcoholics and addicts, as well as their families. Treatment is offered to individuals, couples, families and groups, though clinic owner Margot Molnar said most of the treatment has been provided on an individual basis.

"It's just time to close," Molnar said last week of the clinic. She said the clinic has been in business for the past 10 years and is happy to have served the community. Molnar said the clinic hopes its clients will stay "nice and clean and sober" in the future.

Henk said Ulster County's Mental Health Department may look to replace the clinic with a similar facility. She said the county's mental health commissioner has a subcommittee that deals with addiction issues and determines if there is a need for this type of clinic. If there is a need, the county would reach out to find one, Henk said. She said once a provider is found, the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services would certify the program. Henk said the agency certifies all addiction programs in the state.

The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services had been investigating a complaint against Catskill Mountain Counseling, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Farrell said. She said the investigation has been substantially completed and a preliminary findings report regarding service quality and regulatory compliance was being drafted. That report, however, will not be made public because the clinic is closing, Farrell said. She said the clinic's closing concludes the investigation. If the investigation had gone forward, the clinic would have had the opportunity to respond to the report if it had desired to do so, Farrell added.
source: Daily Freeman,


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