Two drug rehabilitation counselors urged Middlesex County, freeholders last night not to evict a drug addiction clinic from its county-owned North Brunswick quarters. ,
The center, housed in a former juvenile detention . home adjacent to the county’s Hospital for the Chronically Ill has been in operation since 1968 under the direction of the state Department of Health,
The center’s lease with the county expires July 1, the counselors said, and the county has no intention of renewing the lease. Freeholder Thomas J. Molyneux, chairman of the county’s department of health and social sendees, denied a decision on the lease has been made.
County Administrator John T. McHugh said county departments have been asked if they wanted the office space at the facility.
In addition, Freeholder Charles F. Williams, chairman of the county’s education and welfare department, indicated the hospital facility was considering expanding into the drug clinic’s quarters.
Joseph Guadagnino, director of a similar state-sponsored drug program on Dennis Street here, said the juvenile section of the county probation department was planning to move into the center’s second floor, He feared the probation department eventually would take over the entire building.
The center’s no-cost lease covers only the first floor, but center personnel have been able to use the second floor for additional space.
Because persons on probation and rehabilitation patients would have io use the same entrance, the double use of the facility would violate patients’ rights to confidentiality at the center, he said.
The program in North Brunswick has 100 out patients and 10 teenagers in full-time day care, according to its supervisor, Mira Castor. About 10 parents of center patients accompanied the counselors to the meeting,
“We need that building because it has a gym and a kitchen for our program/’ she said. “We serve hot lunches and we have to have a recreation program for our youngsters.”
Guadagnino said the center performs a valuable service for the county by interviewing all persons arrested in the county on drug-related charges,
“That service is free to the county he said. The ..service would be more costly if private agencies were hired to do the work, he added,
“We have a drug epidemic in this county and we need all the drug rehabilitation services we can get,” said Guadagnino, He also was critical of county operated Roosevelt Hospital’s decision to phase out its methadone maintenance program.
“The county doesn’t seem to care about the drug problem he added,
“We have to send people to New York and Trenton for detoxification programs/’ said
Mrs, Castor. “There’s nowhere else for them to go in the cou-ty.”
The North Brunswick center does not use drugs as part of the therapy.
“We’re good members of the community’ she added. "Since 1968, we’ve never had a problem with our neighbors.