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.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John In­gold John In­gold: 303-954-1068, jin­gold@den­ver­post.com or twit­ter.com/johningold

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.

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