DEA 360: Recovery Works to open new healing center in West Carrollton

DEA 360: Lauren Confer Center (WKEF/WRGT)

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- FOX 45 is proud to be partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration and its DEA 360 program. The program is a combined effort between local law enforcement and community outreach to help combat the opioid epidemic.

One organization hoping to make a difference is Recovery Works. It's opening a new mental health service Thursday (Dec. 7) to help patients with addiction recovery.

The Lauren Confer Center will be dedicated Wednesday, December 6th, and will begin accepting patients Thursday.

Fox 45 got a preview of the center with Lauren's dad Richard Confer, who's made it his purpose to fight the epidemic.

"When she was a teenager, she began having mental health issues," Confer said about his daughter, "And before I knew anything about this field, a person put her on a narcotic to treat anxiety and panic which I believe created a dependency."

Confer said that dependency evolved into Lauren's opiate addiction.

She died of a drug overdose in the Spring of 2017.

"I'm obviously angry that she's gone but I love her and I miss her very much," Confer said, "And when I'm doing these sort of things then it makes sense."

"I don't believe that she ever got the proper care for the mental health and I don't want people to have that same experience."

The center is part of Confer's Recovery Works Program, with services in West Carrollton and Vandalia.

"It will help stop, hopefully, people from seeking other medication to treat underlying mental health problems," Confer said.

Confer said there's a demand for mental health services, because those currently operating in the Miami Valley are backlogged.

He said recovery works best when you treat both body and mind, "Get the drug use stopped first, and then if there's truly underlying mental health issues, we'll start treating them cooccurring with those mental health disorders."

The Lauren Confer Center will have full time counselors and clinical staff, certified by the state of Ohio.

They will offer individual and group sessions, and will accept all Medicaid and private pay.

"The window of opportunity is small," Confer said, "We've got to get people help as quick as possible because they could be gone."

Confer hopes when patients see his daughter's name on the door, they'll know her dad didn't give up and inspire them to do the same.

"If I can do anything for anybody if they call us, if we can do it to help somebody we're gunna do it," Confer said, "I don't want her death to be in vain."

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