County helps addiction recovery program expand

County helps addiction recovery program expand
March 22
03:00 2018

Addiction Recovery Care Association Inc. (ARCA) will be expanding its services and getting a new home.

Forsyth County commissioners voted on Thursday, March 15, to give ARCA a 120-month nominal lease on the former Springwood Healthcare Center, a 64,000-square-foot building that housed a 200-bed nursing facility.

ARCA is expected to move into the Shattalon Drive facility, which is located next to Forsyth County Animal Control, after extensive renovations are done on the aging facility. The county will use $825,441 in reserve behavioral health funds to replace the roof, water heater and HVAC system. ARCA will be responsible for other renovations and the upkeep of the building.

ARCA started in 1969 as an alcohol abuse program that eventually expanded to drug rehab. It’s been at its current location on Union Cross Road since 1975. The 67-bed facility is landlocked. This move will let ARCA add and expand services and will also allow for longer detox and treatment stays.

“We’re elated to be in a better position to serve the community, being able to provide more services to more people is what we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time,” said ARCA  Executive Director Thom Elmore.

ACRA is hoping to move into its new facility in early 2019.

ARCA is one of many programs seeing increased demand for its services due to the nationwide crisis of opioid addiction. Local governments are on the frontline of the crisis, with increased demands put on first responders, jails, mental health resources and social services. Both the city and county are suing opioid manufacturers and distributors that they say are responsible for the crisis.

Also during last week’s meeting, commissioners voted to apply for a $25,000 grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation for the Stepping Up Initiative, which focuses on women at the Forsyth County Detention Center with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse issues. Stepping Up works with inmates to develop a discharge plan and connect them with needed resources and support.  The local program began in February 2017 and served 39 women that year, 21 of whom were discharged. Discharged participants only had a 10.3 percent recidivism rate.

“It’s far exceeding what I ever expected it to do,” said Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt, who thanked the other commissioners and the Winston-Salem Foundation for their support.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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