Work Matters Task Force looks at drug treatment and workforce rentry programs in other parts of the state

09/27/2017 05:08 PM

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS – Members of the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force held their monthly meeting in northern Kentucky today touring the Kenton County Detention Center and learning more about their Jail Substance Abuse Program that enables addicts to recover, and be set up to find meaningful employment when they are released back into society.

At a luncheon at NKU, task force members heard from Tim Robinson, CEO of Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), an agency based out of Louisa, who operates a network of state-licensed residential and outpatient drug & alcohol abuse treatment centers in Kentucky.

The network includes four residential treatment centers including: a women’s center in Northeast Kentucky near Ashland; a women’s center in southeast Kentucky near London; a men’s center in Northeast Kentucky near Morehead; and a men’s residential center in southeast Kentucky near Somerset. Current capacity in the residential centers is 64 beds.

In addition to the residential program, ARC operates outpatient treatment centers that offers intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) programs.

ARC has had growing success and treating addict, keeping them clean, and setting them up for success as they reenter the workforce. Robinson says now that the world has gotten out about his agency, one of his biggest challenges is space.

“Even though we’ve got 13 treatment centers, there’s a big need statewide, and so as more people found out what we’ve been doing mostly in eastern Kentucky, now we have folks flooding from here in northern Kentucky, and other places in Central Kentucky, and Louisville are coming to eastern Kentucky for treatment, so there needs to be more beds,” Robinson said.

Robinson, who his 10 years sober after suffering from alcohol addiction, says that of the 200 employees in the centers around the state, 70 are recovered addicts, which tend to be the best employees.

“For me, it gives me a built-in compassion that doesn’t have to come through sensitivity training, and so for the folks who have went through our programs that are now excelling working through our treatment centers, they’ve got built-in compassion and that’s critical in effective drug treatment.

Rep. Kim Moser, R-Independence, says the day was productive from the standpoint that committee members learned about programs already in place that have proven to be successful and can be implemented in other areas of the state.

“It’s really fun for me to see some model programs that can really be replicated anywhere and scalable, and work in any community,” Moser said. “I think that’s what’s important that we share information that we have, we look at best practices, and we understand what really works, and how to get folks out of this cycle that they’re living in.”

Moser in prou that the Kenton County Jail is being used as a model program where inmates get treatment while they are incarcerated which leads to better outcomes once they are released.

“We need to make best use of an individual’s time when they are incarcerated,” Moser said. “We don’t want folks just languishing in jail. It’s not just best use of the time that they have.”

The next Kentucky Work Matters Task force meeting will be held on October 10 in Frankfort.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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