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County Commission learns about residential treatment program for addicts

August 28, 2014
OSSIPEE — A representative from a proposed Christ-centered residential drug and alcohol regeneration ministry for men met recently with the Carroll County Commission.

Mitchell Yeaton of the White Horse Addiction Center, a residential program to be located on Route 16B in two buildings owned by the First Congregational Church of Ossipee, provided an overview of the program, the scope of drug and alcohol addiction in the nation and state, and the current status of the project at the commission's meeting on Aug. 20.

Commissioner David Babson invited Yeaton to speak with the board regarding the potential of eventually working with the county House of Corrections inmate population.

Yeaton said the center requires a special exception from the town's zoning board of adjustment to locate such a facility in the residential village district. The center's mission, he said, is to educate, transform and regenerate men suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction and to try to restore them back to their families and communities. He said of the 1.3 million New Hampshire residents, 113,000 are addicted in some way to drugs and alcohol. More than 4,000 of those reside in Carroll County. Access to treatment programs is limited, he said, with only 6 percent of people impacted by addiction having access to treatment programs. The percentage of drug or alcohol addicted persons is higher in New Hampshire (11 percent) than nationally, at 8 percent, he added.

"It's time people stood up and said 'enough.' We have to do something," said Yeaton.

White Horse Addiction Center is based on a program in Atlanta, Ga., called No Longer Bound, a Christ-based program with a 70 percent success rate in transforming addicts. Yeaton said he served on the No Longer Bound board of directors before relocating to his native New Hampshire.

He said the program will be based in Center Ossipee but eventually will reach out to people all over the state and beyond once the organization grows. The center will not accept violent or sexual offenders, and will require an application, referral and review process.

"The man who comes to us has to want to be there it can't be a mandated program that they have to satisfy a [jail] sentence," said Yeaton. The center will operate a thrift shop where residents work to restore furniture and learn skills. The program will be largely self-funded. Yeaton said eventually, the center may provide a women's ministry and resource center for families and younger people.

Commissioner Babson said he wanted his fellow commissioners to hear from Yeaton to consider the potential of linking the program with the jail.

"We have pathetic resources for dealing with drug and alcohol [addicted]. Most inmates are in for reasons connected to drugs and alcohol," he said. Commissioners took no action at the meeting, but thanked Yeaton for the presentation.

Information request

In other business, State Rep. and Delegation member Glenn Cordelli reiterated a request for information to the commission pertaining to any policy for issuing cash advances to employees, any record of such advances, and information about who authorizes advances and under what circumstances. Commissioner Babson told Cordelli he answered his questions in an e-mail that apparently Cordelli did not receive.

In other business, Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request from the N.H. Department of Environmental Services to test the wastewater for pharmaceutical drug residuals at no cost to the county. County Farm Supervisor Will Dewitt said the state is conducting trial tests in various locations to determine what if any regulations may be needed in the future.

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