– A report from the Joint State Government Commission identified more than 40 vacant sites that could be considered as potential drug treatment centers, according to Rep. Jim Gregory, who authored legislation that precipitated the report.
Gregory (R-Blair) sponsored House Resolution 147
, which instructed the commission to conduct a comprehensive review of unused properties and how to repurpose them for addiction treatment and recovery support.
The report issued this week listed factors to consider when evaluating a site’s suitability. Those factors include local regulations and zoning, physical conditions of buildings, availability of utilities and local support.
“While the report revealed the state lacks information about some of its properties, including their general condition and specific repairs needed, I’m heartened to learn there are former state hospitals, prisons and centers for the intellectually disabled that could be repurposed to help those with substance abuse disorders,” Gregory said.
Gregory cited Clarks Summit State Hospital in Lackawanna County as one especially promising location. The Department of Human Services identified the campus’ 29,675-square-foot Summit Hall as needing only minimal upgrades to become a drug treatment center.
Gregory envisions having centers that provide a continuum of care starting with initial detox.
“We all have a role to play in connecting those who want help with that assistance,” Gregory said. “I urge my fellow lawmakers to join me in advocating for expanded treatment options.”
An estimated 287,000 Pennsylvanians struggle with substance use disorder, according to the state’s Opioid Data Dashboard.
A link to the Joint State Government Commission’s report can be found on Gregory’s website, RepGregory.com
, under “Resources.”
Representative Jim Gregory
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Fitch