By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Bethel Society chosen to run chemical dependency treatment facility in Carlton Co.


September 6, 2018

Carlton County Commissioners voted unanimously to choose the Bethel Society of Duluth to run a Chemical Dependency Treatment facility in Carlton County at their Adjourned Session on August 27. The local treatment proposal comes in response to a surge of chemical dependency issues in Carlton County and a lack of long term beds to address the problem.

Director Dennis Cummings of the Bethel Society was present to answer any questions. He observed, “The clients we serve, which were once almost all alcohol dependent, are by far now drug abusers with a large population addicted to opioids. When we ask clients first coming into our program 'When did you start using drugs,' the answer in the majority of cases is 10 years old, addicted by thirteen, and introduced to the drugs by my mother.”

A site has not been chosen at this time. Center City Housing is willing to invest in an existing facility that meets their criteria for renovation. There is a church available to purchase for the program but it would not fit the Center City Housing investment model.

The Bethel Society runs a treatment program based on the AA 12-step and reality therapy which is tailored to where the client is during admission.

Land Commissioner Greg Bernu asked for and received permission to apply for a $25,000 grant to improve seed development and production in the Carlton County Native Seed-Stock Forest. This grant will pay for labor to top conifers in the forest to encourage cone growth.

Bernu explained, “It is much like apple trees in which you prune to get a high yield which can be easily harvested. The cones are sold to the DNR to grow seedlings for future plantings.”

Sheriff Kelly Lake got approval to send five deputies to Alabama Sept. 16-21 to learn techniques to respond to organized resistance to construction projects in Carlton County.

Lake commented, “Demonstrators to local projects have come in from all over the nation. One method of resistance is to chain demonstrators in a human chain, literally chained together, but also having their arms locked inside of large plastic pipes. We need to know how to respond to such an event.”


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