Baltimore County Health and Human Services is asking the County Council to approve a contract for a residential drug treatment facility at the former Rosewood Center campus in Owings Mills that could begin accepting patients this summer.
Treatment provider Gaudenzia, which operated a facility at the Rosewood Center until 2015, was the only company to bid on the three-year contract.
Dr. Gregory Branch, director of the health department, told the council at a work session Tuesday that the 70-bed residential treatment center is one step toward addressing the opioid epidemic.
The treatment center will open in the county-owned Richards Building at 10225 Jensen Lane, which was renovated for it under a $3 million plan announced last year by the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Branch said it will focus on providing treatment for opioid addiction.
If the contract is approved, Gaudenzia will provide medium- and high-intensity residential treatment around the clock to adults 18 years and older. According to an analysis provided to the council, services will include family counseling, transition planning and referral to after-care services.
The county has no direct costs under the contract, as Gaudenzia will bill insurance to pay for treatment, but it will be responsible for ground maintenance, trash removal and utilities, with estimated annual operating costs totaling about $54,000, according to the analysis. Gaudenzia will pay a “nominal” annual rent of $1,200.
Gaudenzia already has two other addiction treatment contracts with the county, treating men at the Baltimore County Detention Center and residents referred through the criminal justice system.
Branch said the treatment center would open initially with 30 beds, then expand to 70 to 80 in 2020.
The average stay for such a treatment center is more than 70 days, he said.
Councilman Izzy Patoka, who represents Owings Mills, questioned Branch on intake policies and buffers, saying he wanted to make sure that “the impact to the community is negligible.”
Branch said with long-term care without visitors, traffic will not be impactful and that the building is set off from other areas. Ultimately, he said, the real impact on the community comes from addiction itself.
“We have an opioid and addiction problem within our communities…,” Branch said. “I do believe this is one part of the solutions that we have in order to make our communities safe.”