Newswires
NY's OASAS Invests Millions in New Center for Military Vets  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

09/26/2014 -ATIN - New York state's addictions agency, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, OASAS, - by far the largest public funder, owner and administrator of addiction treatment centers - yesterday opened The Col. C. David Merkel Intensive Residential Treatment Facility, funded by millions in a new build on the campus of the famous St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center run by the Franciscan Friars of Atonement, which opened the campus in 1971. The new OASAS funded and built facility is entirely dedicated to treating male military veterans.

Much Needed

There are few types of specialty centers, if any, that are more needed right now than centers that have specialty in treating men who have been through the horrors of military conflict, the terrible witnesses and participants in man's inhumanity to man. The horrors military men, and women now too, witnessed were particularly acute because the U.S. and their NATO allies, especially the British, basically inserted themselves into what in Iraq became a civil war and in Afghanistan always was one. Can u imagine the trauma of a U.S. officer seeing all his friends and colleagues mowed down by a supposed allied Afghan officer turned Taliban agent during a planning meeting, as has happened dozens of times in Afghanistan? Watching ur friends being blown to bits by powerful cleverly hidden homemade explosives known as "improvised explosive devices" or IEDs... and on and on. And don't forget the disappointment of returning home to see that the only result of their hard fought mission in Iraq was give a huge opening for the creation of a new, and much more dangerous terrorist organization called ISIS.... and not the much safer world that draft dodger Pres. Bush promised idiotically when he appeared bomber jacket and all on the deck of an aircraft carrier declaring victory when in fact the real fight hadn't even started.

The Result

The result has been skyrocketing rates of suicide of returning vets along with major problems of domestic violence and other issues caused by what is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a complete overwhelming of the existing capabilities of the nationwide network of Veterans Hospitals, as well as a wave of violent episodes by the mentally ill, some of them veterans.

The New Center

According to St. Joseph's CEO Bob Ross, published in local press reports, the new Saranac Lake area veterans facility can accommodate up to 25 residents at a time and that it is open to vets who got less than honorable discharges, which would normally mean zero access to veterans benefits of any kind, medical educational or otherwise... Ross explained it thus to the local press "Our program was designed so that any veteran regardless of their discharge status can get services here and that's important because a number of people coming out of service would have a less than honorable discharge if they had addiction and PTSD problems." Despite the grand opening held yesterday, the new vet center has been open and taking clients for six weeks.
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