New In-Patient Detox Center in Martinsburg Prepares for October Opening

Sep 21, 2018

It’s been more than 20 years since Martinsburg had an in-patient detox facility. That changed Friday.

The open house for the Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center attracted dozens from the community. The project took two years and was funded through a state grant of more than $1 million. The center will offer 16 beds to people with substance use disorders. It will be open 24/7.

The Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center will offer 8 rooms with a total of 16 beds. Each bedroom has a personal bathroom and a window.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Detox facilities exist in Martinsburg, but none allow clients to stay overnight. Until now, folks in the Eastern Panhandle who have West Virginia Medicaid and are seeking substance use treatment had to travel as far as Morgantown or farther to find a detox facility where they could stay.

This change is exciting news for Hope Dealer Tina Stride who stopped by the open house. Stride is one of three women who founded The Hope Dealer Project in Martinsburg. Hope Dealers volunteer to transport a person with substance use disorder to an in-patient detox facility anywhere in the state. 

“When I walked in the door, I wanted to cry,” Stride said. “This is wonderful, because now, instead of taking two-[and]-a-half to six hours to get someone help [who's] dopesick, we’re gonna be able to go two minutes, and tell them they’re here.”

The lounge area inside the Paloma Center. "HOPE" is spelled out along the railing.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The facility is bright with walls painted in warm yellows and greens. There are inspirational quotes on the walls as well as paintings and other art. Along with the sixteen beds, the center has a dining area, a lounge, a classroom-like space, and a section of offices for therapists and psychiatrists. The center will employ roughly 30 people.

Inspirational quotes and artwork decorate the walls of the Paloma Center.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Martinsburg-resident Peter Callahan spearheaded the project. He’s a therapist and social worker. Callahan said he wants the Paloma Center to spark hope in the community.

“Hope to the families, hope to the addicts, hope to people in crisis that they have a place to come and get stable,” he said. “And go on with their journey of recovery and hopefully a full-sustained recovery.”

Berkeley County sees some of the highest numbers of drug-related overdose deaths in the state, following Cabell.

The Paloma Center will start seeing clients Oct. 1.