Woman behind scuttled Penticton addiction recovery centre not giving up - InfoNews

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Woman behind scuttled Penticton addiction recovery centre not giving up

Brandon Jansen with mother Michelle Jansen shortly before his death of a fentanyl overdose in March, 2016. Michelle is planning to open a chain of recovery centres across Canada and the U.S., starting in Penticton, in spite of a failed bid to acquire a Juniper Road property for the facility earlier this week.
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December 15, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Michelle Jansen says she’s not giving up her efforts to establish a privately run drug treatment facility in Penticton, which she hopes will form the basis for a North American-wide system of treatment centres.

Jansen was in the process of acquiring a Juniper Drive property in Penticton for a rehab centre when the deal collapsed earlier this week. It was then discovered some of the neighbours had purchased the home so it wouldn't be turned into a drug treatment facility.

Her real estate agent, Hardy Maier, says negotiations were underway for the property when the listing realtor called to say the deal was off. 

Maier says he was surprised to find out the owners of several neighbouring properties had purchased it.

“I wish them luck. It’s unfortunate they didn’t approach us. Michelle has been pretty transparent with information, and they could have approached her with their issues," he says. "She’s trying to set the bar a lot higher that what is currently standard for treatment centres. The neighbourhood would have been safer with her there."

Jansen says since word of the scuttled deal was made public earlier this week, she’s received a number of phone calls from people with property to offer her. She says she’s in the process of short-listing those in hopes of opening a facility in February 2018.

“After my son, Brandon’s death in a privately funded treatment centre. I realized things were not being done properly, or at all, with respect to therapy and security in these centres,” she says. Her son, Brandon, was 20 when he died of a fentanyl overdose after seeking treatment in 12 privately funded treatment centres in two years.

Jansen now heads up the Brandon Jansen Foundation, which is working to create awareness about addictions and develop resources for those fighting addiction.

She says after reviewing the coroner’s inquest into her son’s death, she knew she had to open a treatment centre and hopes the one she still plans to open in Penticton will be the first of many.

Her model includes high levels of security, including staff at night, no locked doors, hourly room checks and external security. Visitors would be pre-screened, and everything and everyone coming into the facility searched, including baggage and packages. There would be customized treatment with daily therapy and one-on-one treatment.

“My hope is to start in the Okanagan, and once the beds are full and I’m confident I have the process down to a science, to take the model to the rest of the province, the country, and eventually the United States,” she says.

Jansen hopes the government will adopt her policies and procedures as a template and footprint for recovery centres throughout the province.

"Many family members have contacted me to tell me similar stories about how their loved ones died while in a recovery centre. I need to show these centres can work."


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