Arapahoe House to close all 3 of its detox centers
The Denver metro-area facilities, which will shutter by the summer, has served thousands annually.
Arapahoe House, a prominent provider of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in the Denver metro area, will close its detox centers by the summer, ending a program that serves thousands of people every year.
Arapahoe House currently provides detox at three facilities, one each in Aurora, Commerce City and Wheat Ridge. The facilities offer patients a place to withdraw safely from drugs or alcohol — whether after a one-time instance of over-intoxication or after serious, long-term abuse — and keep those patients from taking up space in a hospital or a jail. The facilities handle as many as 14,000 admissions in a year, although one person can account for multiple admissions.
Mike Butler, the president and CEO of Arapahoe House, said the detox program has for years operated at a loss. Butler said the program is expected to lose as much as $2.5 million this fiscal year, and Arapahoe House, a nonprofit, can’t afford to continue subsidizing the program while also continuing its more intensive treatment efforts.
“We’re taking steps to ensure as a nonprofit that we can continue on our mission,” he said. “And our mission is to help individuals break the cycle of addiction and improve upon their lives.
“There simply is never enough money for everything. That’s really what this boils down to.”
Arapahoe House will continue offering its other addiction-treatment services at clinics across the city.
Currently, about 60 people work in the detox program, Butler said. Chief operating officer Aleah Horstman said “a certain portion” of employees in the detox program will be moved to other programs within Arapahoe House.
Butler said Arapahoe House will work to find funding that allows the detox centers to stay open until June 30. If it cannot find the money, the centers could close as early as Jan. 30, he said.
The closures will reduce but not eliminate detox capacity in the city. Denver Health Medical Center also runs a detox facility, Butler said.
Arapahoe House currently sees about 20,000 admissions annually, including those coming in for detox.
“We have to focus on what programs impact our patients the most,” Butler said.