New Drug Rehab - WM

Three local women are opening a drug rehabilitation program in Frederick County later this year. The program will provide residential substance abuse disorder treatment for around 30 women, along with outpatient services for women and men. From left are Kelsea Kephart, Nicole Tabbachino and Darian Harwood. The center will be named The Orenda Center of Wellness.

A drug rehabilitation program in Frederick County for women could become a reality this year, thanks to the dedication and vision of three local women.

With a combined 30 years of experience working on mental health and substance abuse disorders between the women, the coming program is designed to fill a growing need in the area, said Darian Harwood, one of the women behind The Orenda Center of Wellness.

“There are a lot of places for exclusively men to go,” Harwood said. “And we just said, ‘Why isn’t there one for women?’”

Nicole Tabbachino, Kelsea Kephart and Harwood — all of whom are 28 years old and work at Excel Youth — are creating the new center. The program will provide residential substance abuse disorder treatment for around 30 women, along with outpatient services for women and men.

The group is in the final stages of securing a location for the center, basing their decision on the results of a feasibility study. The two possible locations are in Frederick and Thurmont. Purchasing the building is the largest cost to the program and is made possible by a private investor, Kephart said.

In 2018, Frederick County law enforcement responded to fewer opioid overdoses, but there were more confirmed deaths — 52, with several cases still pending — than in 2017. Addressing substance abuse disorder is one of the county’s health priorities for the next three years.

Tabbachino, with experience as a social worker, said she is working with a low-income family seeking rehabilitation services.

“I’ve been seeing the obstacles that they have had with substance abuse and securing the necessary support,” she said. “The obstacles they were experiencing were so extreme.”

The three women forming The Orenda Center said few substance abuse disorder programs accept Medicaid, and the few that do have a long waitlist.

The high cost of treatment at other locations can be a barrier for low-income people. Relying on a waiting list to get to treatment can mean death for some people, Harwood said.

“When someone is dealing with substance abuse and they’re in crisis, a waitlist is not going to do it,” she said.

“There’s not a lot of places that accept medical assistance and provide services for people with Medicaid,” Kephart said. “When you have commercial insurance, you have the ability to go anywhere across the country.”

The group has been hiring therapists and other workers for the center, Harwood said. They have also been meeting with other program directors and therapists to build their rehabilitation program.

Learning the business side of a rehabilitation program will be as important in keeping the center running as the services side, Tabbachino said.

There will be obstacles for the new center, Harwood said. Not every participant in a rehabilitation program is successful.

“That’s heartbreaking for us,” Harwood said, but she added that the group’s current work experience has prepared them for future difficulties.

The group is in the accreditation and licensing phase for the program, Kephart said. They expect to open their program this summer.

Follow Wyatt Massey on Twitter: @News4Mass.

(21) comments


Many of the commenters on this article sound like they're part of the problem.


Can you give a few examples as to which of the comments below are part of the problem? You can just put the posters name and time.


What I want to know is who shut down all the insane asylums and why? [lol]


I`m interested in the statement made in your post FCPS Principal. Now being an educated person, holding such a high position in education what!! would you do if sitting at my man Chuck Jenkins seat in totally eliminating all drugs in Frederick County? Please enlighten me[smile]


He wouldn't have a clue pappy, not a clue.


Rites of passage in the 21s century, High School, College, Detox...……..


well done, ladies!


I applaud these young folks keep up the good work! There are commenters that will respond negatively to any article. They should remember the words of Jacob Marley, "mankind is my business"


This is fantastic- way to take charge ladies and make a REAL impact in your community and the people that need your help!! Best to you and I have no doubt you will be successful


Good for these ladies! At 28 they already have an empathetic perspective of our community and have decided to look at a problem through a "solutions" lens. I hope others in their 20's see that they can make a larger impact. They can seek out ways to support others. Way to go - I will be looking for ways to support this endeavor!

The Grape of Wrath

There's a "growing need" for another detox center?? Is that because Sheriff Joke Jenkins is doing such a fine job of keeping drugs out of Frederick County?

Comment deleted.



Prin- it’s one thing to debate and stir the pot on here but your comments are irrelivent as usual, to the point where no one cares what you have to say. Change your handle to something more appropriate, let me know if you need help.


Faux-principal, please tell us what Chuck Jenkins has missed, because every LEO and politician, Republican and Democrat, has missed the same thing. The epidemic of drug addiction is nationwide, and not centered here in Frederick County.


And that applies to MS13 also, right gab?




This is not a “ detox center” it is a residential treatment center that is a level down from medical detox. The detox center that Jenkins has worked hard on will be amazing for Frederick county


I guess one could say that he's doing very well at jailing those (or sending them to judge-mandated rehab) who break the law.


I remember when Nelson Rockefeller, then the Governor of New York, spoke to the New York legislature in a special session stating the State of New York was at war with the then drug epidemic in NYC and State. He vowed that New York was going to wipe out the use of illegal drugs in NY and the state was going to war against drubs. There was going to be very still penalties for dealers and users alike. Despite declaring war on drugs NY found it could not stop the drug business.


No one can stop something that's been going on for decades, if not centuries.


I guess there is no reason for a “wall” then. Right? It won’t stop something that’s been going on for decades, if not centuries. No one can stop 🛑 it.

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