The addiction treatment center where two people were killed, including the gunman, and two more were wounded in a shooting Monday is the state’s oldest such center — and regulators say it’s a good one with a solid safety record.
Man Alive, on Maryland Avenue in Charles North, opened 50 years ago and has grown into a center known for its range of services for mental health and substance use disorders, including art therapy.
The center even earned some national attention in 2016 when then-U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy lauded its comprehensive approach to addiction after visiting it as part of a national tour of facilities to better understand the opioid epidemic.
The center is one of 35 treatment programs in Baltimore and 87 in Maryland, according to the state Department of Health, which is responsible for monitoring such clinics annually for clinical and staffing compliance, as well as policies and procedures.
The department does not enforce any safety regulations, though the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has rules about storing narcotics, including methadone. Police said the gunman at Man Alive demanded access to methadone.
Health officials say that there have been no observed safety concerns or incident reports concerning safety at the center. Its last review was June 17.
In Baltimore, oversight is shared with Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, a nonprofit that coordinates behavioral health services in the city and serves nearly 75,000 people annually.
Officials there called the shooting at Man Alive a “tragedy for everyone” who was killed or harmed, their families, the staff, others seeking services and the neighborhood.
“BHSB has deployed crisis response services to support the clients and staff impacted by this incident,” said Adrienne Breidenstine, spokeswoman for the organization. “We have also worked with our network of providers in the community to ensure that clients of Man Alive will continue to have access to treatment both today and in coming days.”
Breidenstine said outpatient treatment clinics are generally safe and violent incidents are uncommon.
During Monday’s incident, the alleged shooter, who police said demanded methadone, was killed. Another man found inside the building with a gunshot wound was later pronounced dead. A police officer and a female worker also were wounded.
Government data and surveys of health workers suggest assaults on health care workers are rising, though violence such as shootings remain uncommon.