COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A central Ohio community care agency responds after several patients overdose on an illegal drug. Alvis Chief Operating Officer Phil Nunes says three clients were transported to the hospital and two others refused medical treatment Sunday. All five are suspected of using K-2, a synthetic drug similar to marijuana, and later arrested for violating court orders.
Most of the clients participating in rehabilitation programs run by Alvis are ordered to do so by a criminal court. All participants are wanded, patted down, and subject to a Breathalyzer when entering any treatment facility run by Alvis, according to Nunes. He says facility personnel are prohibited by law from conducting any more invasive searches like strip searches, which are common in a correctional facility. Nunes explains, “We are all at the mercy of this disease. Because we are not a jail or a prison operation, we really have some limited aspects saying we can curtail anything from coming into our building.”
Alvis serves almost 8,000 Ohioans annually. Nunes adds, “An addiction itself is just a very complicated disease. Unfortunately, with recovery sometimes comes relapse.” Almost four in five clients who successfully complete these treatment programs remain out of the criminal justice system three years later. This compares favorably to the national average which is about 50%.
The need for addiction treatment services is growing and Nunes says more treatment facilities are needed. Alvis is committed to helping solve the Buckeye State’s significant drug problem. They plan to open a new outpatient treatment facility on Columbus’ southeast side in May.