NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– The offices and interior are works in progress, but the Root Center for Advanced Recovery has a brand new building.
It closed suddenly last January because of structural problems. 500 clients had to go to other locations for their daily doses of methadone.
“With it only having the ones in Willimantic and the one in New London, I was absolutely worried,” said Michael Prescott, of Baltic.
So was Lee Ann Gomes, the Director of Human Services for Norwich.
“It was terrifying when they closed,” said Gomes. “Knowing what we know about opioids and this issue.”
Immediately city leaders formed a committee to deal with this unexpected change amidst an opioid crisis.
“Transportation was a glaring obvious thing that needed to be tackled first,” said Gomes.
Fortunately the state provided a grant which paid for van service to the New London dispensary. There were also cab service, bus service, and gas cards provided to clients while work was being done to get the Norwich clinic up and running.
Amy Di Mauro, the Vice President of Operations for Root Center, tells News 8 they had to tear down the building completely and build it back up so they were able to design it exactly the way they wanted it.
“We included private office space so that counselors could meet with their clients privately,” explained Di Mauro. “We included group room space because we expanded our services to beyond methadone dosing to intensive outpatient services and group therapy.”
“We couldn’t be happier that they’re on schedule and they’re opening again and Norwich people will be able to receive the service in Norwich,” said Gomes.
Closer to home for many clients who stuck with the program despite the increased travel time.
“Residing in Baltic and in the Taftville area, it will definitely help out a lot,” said Prescott.