State finds violations at local addiction treatment center

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A 2 NEWS Investigation uncovers the state of Ohio’s Mental Health and Addiction Services found several violations at a local drug and alcohol residential treatment facility months ago and there still has been no action taken.

According to a document 2 NEWS Investigates obtained, the state is proposing to revoke the non-medical community certification for Woodhaven Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services out of 1 Elizabeth Place in Dayton. State investigators say they violated the law in at least four areas.

2 NEWS was contacted by several current and former clients and employees of the inpatient addiction treatment center.

All had concerns with how the program is being run. Former patient, Sarah Stern is one of them. 2 NEWS Investigates found the state has been investigating allegations at the center over the past year. We obtained the letter sent in August to Woodhaven from the state.

It lays out several violations against the facility including, inadequate staffing and supervision, failure to set forth individual treatment plans and a violation of client rights.

The document says most interviews took place in February of 2016. The first claim says residents reported being harassed, sometimes sexually by upper management. This is something Sara says she witnessed first hand.

You can read the full document here.

*2 NEWS is redacting any names of those mentioned in the allegations because no official charges have been filed. 

“Conversations that an owner of a facility shouldn’t be having in front of clients,” said Stern.

The letter from the state also said they received complaints that clients were being verbally and emotionally abused by staff. It also noted that former clients claim three separate sexual incidents occurred at Woodhaven and the proper reports were not filled out.

“A lot of women are used to being taken advantage of or using sex to get what they want, especially with being an addict. So the fact that that was going on wasn’t okay. Women at these treatment facilities need to feel safe and like they don’t have to do that kind of stuff to get attention of something they need,” said Stern.

The state is also noting a violation because the only physician at Woodhaven at the time of the investigation did not have the proper substance abuse scope of practice and the nursing staff was not adequately supervised. The report also said they found Woodhaven did not have a client rights officer like they are supposed to, who would take complaints from clients.

The letter from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says they’ve reviewed the alleged violations and are proposing to revoke Woodhaven’s certification. We’ve learned Woodhaven management has since requested a hearing to contest the allegations but months later, no date has been set. The hearing officer will decide whether or not Woodhaven should close.

After talking with several staff members and former clients, they DON’T want to see a closure. They say the facility has a great opportunity to help people with addiction in the community. They just want to see better leadership and a better environment for those who are working through their addiction.

“To shut it down when there is such an epidemic would be tragic. There is already a wait list at every other center for a bed,” said Stern.

2 NEWS reached out to Woodhaven management several times about these allegations and have left a message with their attorney.

We did receive a statement back from CEO James Goodwin that says, “Woodhaven has been working closely with the state of Ohio to address accusations it has made against it, most of which – including the most severe – we dispute. Woodhaven has worked hard to ensure it is delivering the highest quality services and care to those suffering from substance abuse, and is taking all necessary measures to ensure that those services will continue.”

We’ll stay on top of this story and let you know what happens at that hearing.

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