A substance abuse treatment facility in Franklin, Farnum North, has added 42 more inpatient beds. And with help from donations, the center can now start treating patients who lack insurance.
Prior to the expansion, Farnum North was limited to 21 beds and had a waiting list of 40 people seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
Now with three times the beds, the facility hopes to eliminate this wait list in the next few months as well as double its financial aid this coming year for patients who don't have health insurance. In a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, Gov. Maggie Hassan applauded the facility's efforts to expand treatment but stressed that removing the stigma around addiction is key in this fight.
“We can have a future in which people don’t die of overdoses," Hassan told the crowd. "We can have a future where somebody who has this illness can come forward and get treatment in a timely way. When friends and family can recognize the symptoms because we talk about it.”
Cheryl Wilkie is the vice president of the center and has been in long-term recovery for 30 years . These added beds, Wilkie said, means she and her staff won't have to turn so many people away.
“Hopefully not so many parents crying," she said. "I think that is the biggest thing for us, we know what the need is and we can’t help as many people as we want, and we understand they are angry at us because they think it is us that don’t want to put their child in a bed, but if we don't have a bed, we don't have a bed."
Last year nearly 440 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire; an additional 161 have died this year.