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Plans are in the works for an inpatient, Medicaid substance abuse treatment facility at 111 S. Potomac St., according to Mike Silberman, CEO and co-founder of Amatus Health.
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A Maryland company is looking to open an inpatient addiction treatment facility in Hagerstown.
Michael Silberman, a cofounder and chief operating officer of Amatus Health, said Wednesday that the company has an agreement to purchase a building at 111 S. Potomac St. The plan is to use it for an inpatient center treating substance use disorders, including opioid addictions. It would be open to men and women.
“We decided to make this move because it’s a much-needed service in the community. … It’s a very underserved part of the state,” Silberman said.
“Not everyone has private insurance,” he said.
Vicki Sterling, director of behavioral health for the Washington County Health Department, said she has been in touch with officials from Amatus about the company’s plans.
There are residential treatment facilities in the county, Sterling said, but the Amatus model would offer a higher level of medical care.
“In light of the (drug-abuse) crisis through the whole state, we need more services. … More beds anywhere is good,” she said. “Is it going to help our community? Absolutely.”
Silberman said he hopes to have the facility open by Dec. 1.
“We have a signed contract, and now it’s just a matter of closing on the building,” he said.
He expects closing to take place “in the next 30 days or so.”
According to state assessment records, the building is owned by Cambridge Educational Housing of Waltham, Mass.
“It’s a gorgeous building,” Silberman said, noting that the bedrooms and restroom facilities “are already built-out.”
“The accommodations are phenomenal,” he said, and will accommodate the treatment center well.
Amatus also is obtaining the required licensing, Silberman said.
“In Maryland, you have to get nationally accredited before you apply for the state license. … We’re hoping for a minimum of 40 beds,” he added.
“Most of our facilities are private (pay) up to this point. … We can absolutely serve (a) person at a different facility” if they do not qualify for the proposed Medicaid facility in Hagerstown, Silberman said.
The website says Amatus follows the classic 12-step model for dealing with addictions, “helping people find their way to sobriety through a higher power in a drug-free method.” In a June interview with the Baltimore Jewish Times, Silberman said Amatus Health facilities differ from some other treatment centers in that they “don’t prescribe methadone or suboxone or any other narcotics. We try to get people clean and sober and teach them to live again.”
Silberman estimated that the proposed Hagerstown facility would employ two dozen people, including a psychiatrist, medical staff and others.
“We already have some people employed for this project,” he said.
Silberman did not disclose the financial terms of the pending real estate deal. He estimated that the project would require about another $400,000 in investment.
Listed as a dormitory building, it last sold for $1.2 million in 2014, state assessment records show.
Silberman, who is originally from Owings Mills, said he struggled with addiction starting in his teens.
“I celebrated 13 years of recovery last Saturday, on the 28th. … My honest belief is there has been an opioid crisis for a much longer time than is being acknowledged,” he said.
Written by Mike Lewis
Content originally posted on HeraldMailMedia.com