Journey Pure opened a new drug rehabilitation center in Norris in November in the facility that formerly housed Norris Academy. Staff held an open house on Saturday.
The rehab facility moved from its former location in Powell.
“We wanted a facility that had more space and felt more like home,” said Katie Linley, who oversees the administration of two other facilities. “We’ve made lots of renovations on a very strict budget.”
As a group home for children with developmental disabilities, Norris Academy had painted murals on the walls and even ceiling tiles. There were broken windows and the whole facility needed a lot of cleaning. But with a few coats of fresh paint, days spent scrubbing down the walls and floors and new windows, Journey Pure has a bright, airy atmosphere.
“When something like this comes into the community, there’s a lot of mystery to what we do here,” said Linley. “That’s the purpose of this open house.”
It is not a lockdown facility, according to Linley, but there are processes in place that must be followed if residents want to leave the property. If someone wants to leave the program against treatment advice, staff calls for transportation or an emergency contact.
The facility has room for 32 clients, and already has 30 in residence. The typical length of stay is 28 days.
One of the most unique aspects of Journey Pure is that it offers a detox program to pregnant women. According to its website, the Tennessee Department of Health has seen nearly a ten-fold rise over the past decade in the incidence of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition where newborns experience withdrawal symptoms due to the mother’s drug use during pregnancy. The highest rate of NAS births is seen in East Tennessee.
Most of the residents at Journey Pure are insured through TennCare, although some are private pay. There is a high demand for rehab facilities due to the ongoing opioid epidemic.