A. F. Whitsitt Center – Kent County
For the past 35 years, Kent County’s A. F. Whitsitt Center has been serving people with substance use disorders on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In recent years one of the main challenges has been how to handle the increase of heroin and opioid patients. The center has developed programs and collaborated with new partners to focus on prevention, treatment, and recovery in their community.
The center partnered with the local Sheriff’s Department, the State’s Attorney, Kent County Prevention Department, and the Recovery in Motion Center (RIM) to provide awareness activities in local schools. For instance, these organizations presented an educational video in Kent County middle and high schools on heroin addiction entitled Chasing the Dragon during the Fall 2016 semester. In the Spring semester they invited motivational speaker and former heroin addict Michael DeLion to speak to the students. Feedback from these events was very positive and more are planned for the current academic year.
Prevention and Treatment
The center partners with many agencies and participates in the combined Local Drug and Alcohol Commission (LDAC) and the Opioid Intervention Team (OIT). A. F. Whitsitt Center works with the Post-Adjudicated Supervision and Treatment Program (PAST), Kent County’s version of Problem Solving Court, to initiate treatment for potential participants and provide residential treatment for those who have relapsed while in the program.
The influx of opiate-based pain medicine in recent years, which was quickly followed by a flood of heroin, has placed a premium on access to detox services, stabilization, and continuing care. The Governor’s Task Force gave the center an $800,000 grant in the fall of 2015 to re-open a wing and add residential treatment beds to their facility. With this grant money, it has increased the number of detox beds to twenty, encouraged patients to initiate a continuing care program that includes Vivitrol, and trained and equipped every person with narcan, including family members of those in the program.
The Recovery in Motion Center (RIM), is a component of Kent County Behavioral Health that works in conjunction with the center. RIM is devoted to Kent County residents that are in recovery. In June, RIM held their third annual Backyard Bash where over 200 people attended an evening of festivities to celebrate recovery. A cookout with games and kid-related activities drew a variety of people, many of whom had completed their recovery and moved on with their lives. There were also booths manned by local stakeholders including Chestertown Police, Narcotics Anonymous, the Rotary Club of Chestertown, the Alano Club, several church groups and others.
Interested in learning more? Contact:
A. F. Whitsitt Center
300 Scheeler Rd
Chestertown, MD 21630