In the past five years, more and more recovery clinics have addressed their increasing service needs by offering extended-care facilities for those farther along in treatment for substance-use disorders. On June 5, the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic (NKRC) in Youngstown, Ohio, broke ground on the Gelbman House, a $300,000, eight-bed, recovery-supportive house adjacent to the main campus grounds.
Transitional housing environments can help free up space in detoxification units to reduce wait times for incoming clients, while also providing an additional level of care within the continuum. According to Jerry Carter, executive director of NKRC, more than 900 people are placed on the Youngstown clinic’s waiting lists each year, and about half eventually enter the program.
“We believe we’re going to be able to admit somewhere between 300 to 400 additional people per year,” once the Gelbman House is opened, Carter says.
NKRC currently treats approximately 1,500 people per year from Ohio and surrounding states. Referrals come from primary-care providers, self-referrals, Medicaid and other payers. But new clients can sometimes wait weeks if space is not available in the 16-bed clinic.
“Unfortunately treatment delayed is often treatment denied because people relapse while they’re waiting,” Carter says. “But it depends on the day. Sometimes people get right in. Part of the reason we’re doing this is to reduce that waiting time.”
Residents will stay at Gelbman House for three to six weeks until longer-term housing is available, while they participate in outpatient services. Carter says while detox is a necessary first step, recovery housing allows individuals to develop new tools in a supportive environment before returning home.
NKRC has four Ohio locations and is a subsidiary of GatewayRehab. Clinicians offer several care services, including medication-assisted treatment.