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This ongoing series takes in-depth look at the heroin epidemic spreading across West Virginia. From the story of the addict who could no longer get prescription narcotics on the street, the emergency room physician who cares for overdose patients, and the lawmakers working to reverse the trend--these are the voices and stories of West Virginians impacted by heroin.Has heroin affected you or someone you know? Share your story here.

Southern W.Va. Just Days Away from Non-Medical, Inpatient Treatment

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Jessica Lilly
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Terry Danielson is the new Director at Four Seasons Recovery Place in Bluefield. He says sharing his story of heroin addiction helps with his recovery.

While other parts of the state are seeing a rapid increase in heroin overdoses, southern West Virginia continues to battle a prescription pill problem. As access to addiction treatment in the state’s larger cities like Charleston and Huntington grows, rural parts of West Virginia are still struggling with a lack of resources. But in Bluefield, a much anticipated alternative for  recovery is just days away from opening, bringing 20 male beds to southern West Virginia. It’s not much, but those involved expect it to make a difference in the community.

The program at the Four Seasons Recovery Place is modeled after the Healing Place in Huntington. A former school in Bluefield was renovated to make room for 20 men looking to recover from addiction.

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Credit Jessica Lilly
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A former school in Bluefield is being renovated to accommodate Four Seasons Recovery Place, an inpatient treatment facility for men.

It’s a non-medical detox facility in southern West Virginia. It’s funded by the West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Act, which covers the first three years of cost allowing patients to access treatment for free.

The state plans to double the amount of beds in the second year and provide space for 60 men in year three.

Patients are referred to and qualify for the Four Seasons program after a run in with the law.

“I was dying to get out I just didn’t know how to get out,” said recovering addict Justin Clark.

Clark spent most of the last 18 years of his life addicted to prescription pain pills. After being arrested for the second time for driving under the influence of drugs, Clark decided he wanted to get clean, and the justice system helped him find a way.

He qualified for and recently completed the recovery program at the Healing Place in Huntington.

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Credit Jessica Lilly
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After being arrested for the second time for driving under the influence of drugs, Justin Clark decided he wanted to get clean, and the justice system helped him find a way.

Clark is a replication team member at Four Seasons Recovery Center. He helps determine if applicants qualify for the program. He also serves as a mentor to those receiving treatment.

Clark said he believes in this program because it’s peer driven and based on accountability and unity.

“So for me to give back to my own community for so much I’ve took away for so many years is why I took this job,” Clark said.

Director Terry Danielson is also a recovering addict and has been clean since November 2011. So far, Danielson said taking on this new leadership role has been helpful in his own recovery.

“I don’t care to share my story if that’s what it takes to get somebody to relate,” Danielson said.

Danielson was named the director shortly after the expected director was arrested for failing a drug test.  The Four Seasons Recovery Place is expected to open June 1. It's located on Preston Street in Bluefield.


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