WESTFIELD — A former patient at the Mountain Laurel Recovery Center here alleges his credit card was used without permission, and he is seeking a change in the center’s policy.

Jason B. Grant said that while he was receiving treatment at the center, someone entered a secured room and used his credit card without his permission. Photographic evidence showed that a $200 withdrawal was made from Grant’s account.

When Grant discovered that his card had been charged without his knowledge or consent, he met with the center’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Drake.

When contacted by this reporter, Drake said, “Items that are locked up are stored in a secure area and returned upon discharge from the facility. Only designated staff have access to the secure area.”

Grant said the $200 was reimbursed a week later and no charges were filed.

Though his money was returned, Grant wants to ensure that something similar doesn’t happen again. Grant said he wants new policies implemented to prevent a repeat occurrence.

“I can assure you that providing safe, quality substance abuse treatment to individuals in need is our priority and that any complaints or allegations about the quality or safety of our services are taken very seriously,” said Drake via email. “All complaints or allegations result in some form of internal and/or external investigation in order to determine if action is necessary or if we can do better in the future. At this time there are no current investigations concerning Mountain Laurel Recovery Center.”

Drake said that payments are processed similar to a physician or healthcare visit, where the out-of-pocket costs have been reviewed with the individual prior to admission and payment has been agreed upon.

“Ideally these payments are made prior to admission, although due to the nature of our services these agreed upon payments may occur at time of admission or shortly after,” Drake said.

Grant said that the nursing staff provided excellent care, but he believes administrators failed to address the situation appropriately.

After his money was returned, Grant said he was not charged for any additional out-of-pocket expenses. As for the alleged incident, Grant remains concerned that no corrective action will be taken.

Drake said, “Addressing improper behavior – by staff or clients — depends on the facts and circumstances of the situation. Individuals in our care are at different stages of their recovery and are learning how to function without the use of drugs and alcohol which takes time, treatment, maintaining a safe environment and understanding.”

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