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County approves new recovery center in Lake Worth Beach

The Hub in Delray Beach. (WPEC).
The Hub in Delray Beach. (WPEC).
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In Palm Beach County, leaders are implementing a new approach to combat the number of opioid overdoses.

ONLY ON CBS12: New numbers show decline of opioid deaths in Palm Beach County

"This is the first of what will be a number of recovery community organizations and recovery centers throughout Palm Beach County," said John Hulick the county's drug czar.

Hulick tells CBS12 News the facility, in Delray Beach, will be replicated in other hotspots throughout the area.

He believes the county's forward-thinking approach is in part aiding in the year-to-year decline.

As CBS12 News first reported, opioid deaths in Palm Beach County peaked at more than 600 in 2020. Those numbers declined to just under 500 in 2021, and as of today, the number of opioid deaths in the county is 42 for 2022.

The location in Delray Beach has been operating since May 2021. But the approach, Hulick says, long-term individualized peer-to-peer recovery has been around for 20 years.

Palm Beach County is tapping into that.

The center sets up people for success after they complete acute treatment in more traditional clinical settings.

We are not so much focused on the first 30 days," said Executive Director Ian Stone, "We are focused on the next 30 years.

Stone tells CBS12 News giving those with substance abuse resources, structure, and a community keeps them from falling back into old, and sometimes deadly, habits.

"What do you offer them?" asked CBS12 News Reporter Stefany Valderrama.

"Basically everything, starting with navigating systems of care, job search, resume building, food stamps, [and] interview skills," said Stone.

Last month, Palm Beach County leaders approved expanding the program into Lake Worth Beach, but at this point haven't identified a location.

"Has the community been receptive to having these centers in our community?" asked CBS12 News Reporter Stefany Valderrama.

One of the things here that is very different is that is not a treatment center, " Hulick told CBS12 News. "I have to say, I did not experience that here, but the question does come up.

Some other hotspots that Hulick would like to see centers located include Belle Glade, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.

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