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Rasoul Proposes New Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Center at Catawba

Catawba Psychiatrict Hospital
Commonwealth of Virginia
The Catawba Psychiatric Hospital could be transformed into a regional center for treatment of substance abuse.

More people are killed in this state by a drug overdose than by gun violence and traffic accidents combined. That’s why Delegate Sam Rasoul is proposing a state-of-the-art center to provide all the medical and social services an addict needs to recover.

The Catawba Psychiatric Hospital in Roanoke County was built more than 100 years ago, but Rasoul thinks it would be a great place to establish a cutting edge facility to treat substance abuse and to support recovery with medical and mental health services, housing and job training.

“We’re saying, ‘Take this state entity that is dilapidated and certainly needs some work, and make this an innovative campus that is helping to facilitate this continuum of care.”

House Bill 105 has a modest price tag, but Rasoul says the long-term cost for an addiction and mental health treatment center would be significant.

“We’re asking right now for $3.5 million for planning and coordination of these facilities, and then the campus probably has a price tag of over $100 million.”

The measure must be passed by the House Committee on Rules before it’s put to a vote by state delegates.

Sandy Hausman joined our news team in 2008 after honing her radio skills in Chicago. Since then, she's won several national awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Radio, Television and Digital News Association and the Public Radio News Directors' Association.