SPRINGFIELD, Ky. (WAVE) - After sitting vacant for more than four years, the old St. Catharine College campus has new life in the form of an addiction recovery facility.
Addiction Recovery Care opened its new, residential treatment facility, Crown Recovery Center, last month on the former college campus.
The new center can house up to 750 people on its 52-acre property.
Crown Recovery Center’s opening came at a time when overdose deaths have reached record-high levels in Jefferson County, projected to top 600 deaths by the end of the year, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
Crown Recovery Center Community CEO John Wilson told WAVE 3 News the pandemic has cast a deadly spotlight on the growing drug epidemic.
“We’ve seen in some areas up to a 70-percent increase in overdoses in parts of Kentucky,” Wilson said. “This need is being unmet more now than ever. It was critical we got it open as quickly as possible to meet this very, very important need.”
Crown Recovery Center currently has more than 120 patients going through its many programs, including residential, transitional, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medically assisted treatment (MAT), vocational rehabilitation and job training.
Some patients who could not be identified per center rules told WAVE 3 News that ARC’s treatment programs have saved their lives.
“I just got tired of being in the streets and feeling alone,” one patient said. “I knew there was a better way to life, so I came to ARC. This place has probably saved my life.”
“I was brought up around drugs and was actually in jail and finally got sick of it after seven years,” another patient said. “I just want a Christ-centered relationship. I didn’t want that type of lifestyle anymore. There’s definitely a better way and ARC is the answer. I wouldn’t base my recovery around ARC, but it’s definitely helped me, and I’ve learned a lot here.”
Wilson said beds at all 30 of ARC’s centers have started filling up, but with the addition of Crown Recovery Center, the staff hopes to have enough space to never turn anyone away.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is that these are bad people and that there’s a criminal element,” Wilson said. “That’s not the case. These are largely good people. They’re our neighbors, they’re our family members, but they’re sick people and they need help and that’s what they’re doing here.”
ARC not only provides treatment for its patients, but also offers job training which it calls “crisis to career.” When patients complete the program, they have the skills necessary to find jobs.
ARC operates a network of more than 30 addiction treatment centers in 16 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties. Click here to learn more.