NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Praxis of Norfolk by Landmark Recovery opened its doors this week and is accepting Medicaid patients for substance abuse treatment.

The facility has 60 beds and treats Medicaid customers for 21 or 28-day stays. It is the 13th treatment Landmark facility in the U.S.

Following in-patient stays, customers attend regular out-patient groups.

“What is so spectacular about Landmark Recovery is that we never give up on our patients. A lot of patients will just specialize in one program and discharge you and do not have a follow-up. We do not do that,” said Yadi Colon, the center’s executive director.

The center’s opening comes as Norfolk, and Virginia, struggles to get a grip on the opioid epidemic. In 2021, the Department of Health reported that overdose deaths increased by 69% from the year prior.

Landmark Chief Clinical Director Michelle Dubey says that for every treatment bed for a Medicaid patient, there are eight people.

Often, it’s not just alcohol or drug addiction that customers are battling. Dubey says that 90% of customers have a co-morbid condition or trauma, such as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia.

“Substance abuse and trauma go together like peanut butter and jelly,” Dubey says.

The clinic’s director, Saunique Eason, says that in her experience as a social worker, she has had to send patients out-of-state. Having a neighborhood option, she says, could be life-changing for people in Norfolk.

“A lot of people functioning with addiction and thinking that they have it all together and they don’t,” she says. “Maybe if there were more services in their community and they didn’t have to stop their whole lives to seek treatment, then maybe more people in inner-cities would seek treatment.”

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