THIS VISIT FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES WAS IN DECEMBER 2019
Central Appalachia’s Big Sandy region is widely recognized as ground zero for the opioid crisis, and now, the methamphetamine crisis. The New York Times came to Louisa because of the problem, but Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) is also hosting researchers (before the pandemic) from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and from research teams from Baltimore, Boston, and Washington, D.C. People are literally coming from all over the nation to not only see the shifting problem, but to see ARC’s innovative solutions.
Not only is it one of Louisa’s largest employers, but ARC is garnering national attention as being ground zero for the solution to the drug epidemic. With over half of its 700 employees being in recovery from substance use disorder, ARC has been selected to take part in a national best practice study (Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for low-income families) through the federal Health and Human Services Department and the Social Security Administration. ARC was the first of four programs selected to be in this national study. ARC’s innovative “Crisis to Career” approach is seeing success rates of over 80%, with success being defined as “in recovery and employed” for those who complete the full program.
Meth was named the primary drug of choice for 6% of ARC’s admissions five years ago versus 41% of ARC’s admissions now. Due to this rise in meth use, ARC has had to make adjustments to its treatment programming. Meth is much more difficult to treat because there isn’t medically assisted treatment (MAT) available for meth.
The New York Times came to Louisa to report on the huge uptick in meth that has been plaguing not only Louisa, but all of the United States. See story below: