Providing ‘world-class’ care: Amarillo Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol aims for comprehensive addiction treatment

It’s been almost a year since Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs began leasing their new facility at 1001 Wallace Blvd., and on January 22 ARAD officials are expecting to have heads in their 37 renovated residential treatment bedrooms.

 

About half of the 103,000 square feet of space at the facility will be utilized for the care and treatment of patients and their relatives. Three wings of the leased property, owned by the Bivins Foundation, have recently been renovated and a staff of full and part-time specialists will offer a continuum of treatment — residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient, supportive residential and aftercare.

“We really want to provide world-class treatment here,” said Perry Gilmore, ARAD’s board president and CEO. “We want to be cutting edge.”

The nonprofit organization is a self-pay facility, where patients are self-referred as well as recommended by physicians and clergy.

“Because we’re not-for-profit, (we charge) an extremely low fee,” Gilmore said. “It would be very hard to find any facility anywhere that’s going to do treatment for what we’re going to do. There’s probably not any facility that is nicer than this and when you look at the qualifications of our staff … you’re not going to find a better-qualified staff.”

Under the direction of Martha Burkett, ARAD director of comprehensive treatment and recovery services, the facility will have a client-centered approach. Unlike more traditional recovery models, comprehensive individual evaluations will determine the amount of time that is appropriate for each client’s recovery treatment.

“The industry standard is 30-day treatment, but we’re going to look at each individual and what’s going on in their life,” Gilmore said. “That’s one of the reasons we don’t want to take insurance because insurance is going to argue with the provider … about what treatment they need.

“We’re really focused on the individual. A lot of places might say, ‘Here’s what we do for every patient that comes in.’ What we do is we assess each individual and figure out what’s best for them and that’s the treatment they get.”

Treatment at the facility will be a combination of traditional and holistic treatment models, based on the client’s needs and interests. Since addiction affects not only the addict but also their relatives, the center is going to focus on involving the family in the recovery process as well, Gilmore said.

“One of the benefits of ARAD is instead of having to send your loved one to San Diego, Calif., and not having the finances to be with them, (relatives) can be with them here on the weekends and they can also attend group and individual counseling.

“One of the things we hope to do is get rid of the stigma some people have about drug and alcohol misuse. Some people think that’s a lifestyle choice; it’s a physical and psychological addiction, just like people don’t choose to get cancer, people don’t choose to be addicts.”

The new ARAD facility is an extension of the current outpatient facility at 1703 S. Avondale St., where they have been offering recovery services to Amarillo’s homeless population for over five years. Under the direction of Program Director Roger Yoakum, Gilmore said they have helped 700 homeless people, 16 at a time, usually in 45-day treatment programs.

“Our graduates of that program reduce their arrests 85 percent, so when you think about the cost savings to the criminal justice system, that’s a huge benefit to the community,” Gilmore said. “It also reduces their hospital admissions by about 15 percent … which taxpayers pay for out of the indigent care fund. It’s a huge savings to the community.”

Though there is a need for addiction recovery services in Amarillo, Gilmore said he doesn’t think the addiction rate in the area is better or worse than anywhere else in the U.S.

“When I speak to public groups, a lot of the time I’ll say, ‘If you know somebody that can benefit from 30 days of treatment raise your hand,’ and usually at least 75 percent of the audience will raise their hand. Even high school kids.”

Gilmore said as a nonprofit organization, they are very dependent on donations from individuals.

“Funding just enables us to help more people quicker,” he said, “and it would ensure the continuity of all these programs.”

More information

For those who would like to seek treatment at ARAD, a referral is not necessary. Call 806-350-2723. Those who would like to donate or would like more information can visit aradamarillo.com

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