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Pittsburg Loans $100,000 For Drug Treatment - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg Loans $100,000 For Drug Treatment

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

According to KDHE, Southeast Kansas out-paces the state average of drug overdoses.

CEO of Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Krista Postai, says it's part of a nationally growing trend of prescription drug abuse. Something that's been under-served, locally. 

"Things have changed in the last ten years. And data has caught up," Postai said. "And now we understand prescription drugs are the larger problem than illicit drugs."

The CHC is currently recruiting 8 new, full time staff members to establish and operate an outpatient substance abuse treatment program, thanks to a grant it received in March. 

But the grant doesn't help cover the more than $800,000 facility expansion and renovation needed. 

The city will loan $100,000, interest free, from it's Economic Development Fund to help just that. 

City Manager Daron Hall says while the social benefits are a positive, the city's loan is economically motivated.

"8 jobs. Average of $50,000 [salaries]. Those are good paying jobs around here," Hall said. "If we can put money in and get high-paying jobs out of it, sounds like a good formula."

Behind CHC-SEK is the former TFI building. The CHC is in the process of buying it to move administrative staff there, so it can make more room in it's main facility for drug treatment programs.

"[Drug treatment has] been under-resourced. There really has not been an area-wide solution," Postai said. "And this is not one [solution], this is one piece of bringing together the whole treatment community and seeing what we can do to address these problems."

The Health Center is taking out a bank loan to cover the rest of the expansion costs and expects to move its administrative staff into the TFI building in July.

The Center has provided drug treatment counseling and other programs, but wants to predominantly add medication-assisted treatment.

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