KINGSTON, Tenn. (WATE)– The owner of a new recovery center is hoping to open in Roane County, but the opening depends on county approval for rezoning–and some residents are already voicing their opinions.
Jeff Caudill is a former law enforcement officer, but about 10 years ago he got into helping addicts recover through faith. “I’ve seen good treatment and I’ve seen not-so-good treatment, and God put it on my heart to go to Roane County You know, God has opened the door to this and I believe that there’s a huge need,” Caudill said.
There is a need, according to Tyler Newman, a recovering addict born and raised in Roane County. Newman said he first got into alcohol and weed in middle school, and then gradually started getting into the harder drugs.
“I found out I could get prescriptions, you know, to benzodiazepine, which gave me the same feeling as alcohol without somebody smelling it on me,” Newman said.
He said he got into even harder drugs after that. Newman said he had been to rehab several times, but nothing stuck until he was truly ready. At that point, he was forced to go to Kentucky for in-patient care.
“So, I signed into the Roane County recovery court in March and they, that’s the closest place they had to send me,” Newman said.
Caudill wants to open Clear Path Recovery Care at the old Cedar Grove Baptist Church off Old Johnston Valley Road, but before he can, the county must approve rezoning for the property.
A few people living nearby the church weren’t all too happy about it. They said that area is residential and they don’t believe it’s the right place for a recovery center. They also were worried property values would drop because of it. Caudill said the community shouldn’t worry.
“I’ve heard ‘those people,’ more times than I care to mention, but those people are all around us. I’m not going to do anything that would ever put the community at risk, or put my own people at risk,” Caudill said.
Caudill said he doesn’t know a single person who doesn’t have a loved one dealing with addiction. So, he rhetorically asked, wouldn’t they want a recovery center close by?
Caudill said no medications would be given at Clear Path, if approved for the rezoning. He said it is a faith-based treatment center that would have an addictionologist and a 24-hour nurse on staff.
He said Clear Path would start as an outpatient center, with patients coming in three times a week for three hours for group sessions or individual sessions, and they would have to be drug tested.
Caudill said the community shouldn’t worry about criminals going into their neighborhoods. He said addiction impacts all types of families.
“The people who are going to come to us for care are looking for help. They’re not dangerous people. They’re just needing help. They need the help with their addiction, they need the help with other things going on with their families,” Caudill said.
From personal experience, Newman said he believed those truly wanting to receive help for their addiction would go to this facility.
For Newman, it took a while to be ready to become sober, but once he was and stayed in an in-patient facility for 90 days, he’s now 124 days sober. He said a facility like that needs to be in their community.
“I’m really hoping that this will help people and I really feel like it will be more of an asset than it will be a liability to anybody in the community,” Newman said.
The people against Clear Path moving to the old Grove Church said they knew Roane County needed another treatment center, they just don’t want it in their backyard.
Caudill said if approved, he hopes to renovate the facility and add an in-patient section about a year after opening. If approved, he believes Clear Path could open by January, pending all the certifications the facility would need to get before opening.
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“If you want to see the face of Roane County change, then give us the opportunity to help the people suffering from addiction. Give us the opportunity to help them heal, not only themselves but their families,” Caudill said.
Caudill said his work is just an extension of what the Grove Baptist church already does, which is community outreach in all aspects, including addiction recovery.
“We are very hands-on in the world of addiction, small home repair, and wheelchair ramps,” stated the church’s website.
The Grove moved to a larger location off Highway 70. The Roane County Board of Zoning Appeals meets on July 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the county courthouse.