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Allegany County Health Department Issues Statement On Jackson Unit

July 6th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Allegany County Health Department issued the following statement on the closing of the Jackson Unit that WCBC broke earlier this week:

The Lois E. Jackson Unit and the Joseph S. Massie Unit are located in Cumberland, Maryland.  These facilities provide residential substance abuse treatment services for patients from across Maryland.  The Jackson Unit serves adolescents and the Massie Unit serves adults.  

The number of adolescents in treatment at the Jackson Unit has declined greatly over the past five years, while the demand for adult treatment has grown substantially.  For example, between 2010 and 2016, the increase in fatal overdoses in Maryland has been most rapid among people 55 and older. The number of statewide deaths among this age group increased five-fold between 2010 and 2016, from 86 to 424. 

The Allegany County Health Department is working with the Department of Health and other agencies to convert capacity for inpatient adolescent services to capacity for inpatient adult services to serve as a statewide resource.  The strategy includes expansion of ‚Äčthe Massie Unit from a 25-bed facility to a 45-bed facility, which would reduce or even eliminate the current waitlist for adult substance use treatment.  

Our community is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and this initiative has been launched to help us meet our most critical need, substance abuse treatment for adults. The expanded Massie Unit will serve adults ages 18 and over.  Allegany County Health Department is working with key stakeholders to ensure that adolescents who need treatment services have appropriate, high-quality providers to meet their needs.  Plans will be finalized this summer.  

When the plan goes into effect, Jackson Unit staff will transition into positions on the newly expanded Massie Unit.

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