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Wait! BBH Was Going to Vacate?

Officials with a city and state-funded drug treatment clinic told west side residents last night that they were mislead when they chose to locate at 1001 W. Pratt St. They were under the impression that Baltimore Behavioral Health—an independent nonprofit clinic that serves some 1,300 recovering addicts each day—was moving out. As the

, John H. Spearman, senior vice president at University of Maryland Medical Center, told residents that locating the drug treatment clinic in other neighborhoods "got ruled out from above." Spearman's clinic, funded by Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems, which is the city's drug treatment overseer, moved to the building in January. The Abell Foundation bought both 1001 and 1101 West Pratt St., which currently houses Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. (BBH). Neighborhood residents protested the move, saying that too many drug treatment services have been concentrated in their neighborhood. Relapsing addicts commit crimes and attract drug dealers, residents say. BBH has been cited for financial problems and lax monitoring of the housing in which its patients reside.

and the

Sun

both published stories two years ago about BBH's problems, and a state investigation led to a

and a

for hiring a doctor who had previously been convicted of Medicaid fraud. The state investigation was still ongoing in late 2010, with an estimate of "months, not weeks," a spokesman said at the time. It is unclear when, or if, the state investigation into BBH concluded.

BBH to collect some defaulted loans last year, The

Sun'

s Scott Calvert reported. BBH reportedly had trouble making payroll and

At the time, the

Sun

reported that BBH planned to lease its old offices. BBH's status as a going concern has been the subject of street rumor for years. Spearman was not clear about who told him BBH's days in west Baltimore were numbered, according to the Brew. Spearman said only that "we were misled" into believing that BBH would be vacating the adjacent site.

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