Questions Remain After Release of Report on Overdoses at Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center | New Hampshire Public Radio

Questions Remain After Release of Report on Overdoses at Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center

Dec 17, 2019

 

The Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center opened in October 2018.
Credit Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has released a report into a series of non-fatal overdoses at the state's sole residential youth addiction treatment center last month.

The report says that most of the overdoses at the Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center in Manchester were from a drug that one resident smuggled in after visiting their family over the weekend of November 23.

Another overdose on November 25 was an apparent suicide attempt, which occurred when a resident was left alone with their belongings, including psychotropic medication.

The incidents lead the state to cancel its contract with the organization running the center, Granite Pathways, and to temporarily cease operations there.

Moira O'Neill, the Director of the Office of the Child Advocate, said that because the treatment center was not a DCYF facility, the state's oversight over it was "unclear."

At the beginning of the incident review, O'Neill sent a series of questions to DHHS about the facility, which she shared on Tuesday in a press release. The questions ask for details about the state's oversight, the level of mental health care at the facility, and the credentials of staff at the facility.

Jake Leon, Director of Communications DHHS, said the state used these questions to help guide their investigation, but the answers remain confidential.

"DHHS monitored Granite Pathways’ compliance with its contractual obligations and is still compiling information regarding the organization’s noncompliance. There is also an ongoing investigation by DCYF that must be kept confidential," he said.

Patricia Reed, the State Director for Granite Pathways, told NHPR the staff were properly credentialed and were trained to work specifically with youth, although staff from the organization's adult addiction treatment center in Manchester, the 'Doorway,' sometimes filled in at the youth center when it was understaffed.

Granite Pathways is operated by the Manhattan-based Fedcap Group, which runs job training, rehabilitation, and social service programs throughout the country.

Patricia Reed said in a statement that her office was reviewing the incident report and had "cooperated fully  with  the  state  in  preparation  of  its  report." 

"The  end of  this contract  does not end Granite Pathways’ commitment to  its mission of supporting individuals with substance use disorders and mental illness in achieving their life goals as valued members  of their communities."

The state is continuing to review another significant contract it has with Granite Pathways to operate the state's two largest Doorway addiction treatment hubs, located in Nashua and Manchester.

____________

[Sign up for Primarily Politics, NHPR's weekly politics newsletter]