Throughout the pandemic, staff at Addiction Recovery Care and other treatment centers throughout the Commonwealth have stepped up to continue delivering much needed care to individuals impacted by substance use.
At a time when drug overdose deaths in the state have increased by nearly 50 percent, the clinicians, nurses, counselors, social workers and peer support specialists serving clients at ARC’s 30-plus addiction treatment centers are playing an integral role in communities across Kentucky and our health care system as a whole.
“Kentucky’s addiction crisis certainly hasn’t slowed down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, we’ve seen just the opposite. We’re grateful for the tremendous dedication our mental health workforce has shown during these challenging times,” said Matt Brown, Addiction Recovery Care’s senior vice president of administration.
“ARC takes its role in the community very seriously. Not only are we providing care and treatment to one of the state’s most vulnerable populations, but we’re also one of Eastern Kentucky’s largest employers. We’ve implemented a number of strategies to ensure we’re hiring and retaining the very best staff,” added Brown. “As we continue to see increased demand for mental health and addiction treatment services, we encourage our lawmakers and public officials to consider policies that will incentivize more people to enter this field in the years to come.”
More than 60 percent of rural Americans live in a mental health professional shortage area,according to a University of Michigan study published in 2020.
ARC leaders are pointing to one federal initiative, the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program, as an example of what can be done to ensure we have the mental health workforce we need to be effective in helping more people reach and sustain long-term recovery from substance use disorders.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, first announced the program in 2018. Eligible individuals can receive up to $250,000 in loan repayment. In return, employees must commit to working full-time for six years in an eligible substance use treatment facility.
“The work I do as a counselor for clients who struggle with PTSD and addiction is extremely rewarding,” said Rich Goddard, a registered nurse and trauma specialized clinical counselor for Addiction Recovery Care. “PTSD is a major factor for clients in addiction. Many of our clients started to use substances secondary to unresolved trauma. ARC has provided me with an opportunity to receive specialized training and work with these clients. We are seeing dramatic results utilizing specific trauma based therapy. ARC has also provided an opportunity to utilize my specific gifts and training to provide trauma informed care for staff about PTSD.”
Today, Addiction Recovery Care employs more than 800 individuals across Eastern and Central Kentucky, many of whom are in long-term recovery themselves.
“Kentucky has made great strides in recent years to ensure that people can easily access addiction treatment services,” said Vanessa Keeton, ARC’s senior director of talent engagement. “But we must be proactive in ensuring we have the workforce to provide these individuals with the individualized care and services they need for long-term success.”
For more information on working for ARC, please visit arccenters.com/careers.
About Addiction Recovery Care (ARC)
Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) operates a network of more than 38 addiction treatment centers in 16 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties. The organization, headquartered in Louisa, Kentucky, offers a full continuum of care including withdrawal management, long-term residential treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medically assisted treatment (MAT), vocational rehabilitation and job training. The treatment centers are holistic with CARF-accredited clinical programs, medical services directed by an addiction psychiatrist, a spiritual emphasis that includes the 12 steps and chaplaincy care and a broadening scope of vocational training opportunities for clients.
ARC has a focus on providing Treatment on Demand to ensure individuals receive treatment immediately without delay. This process includes quick enrollment into programs and transportation provided by ARC to one of our facilities. Individuals will have a clinical and medical assessment within 24 hours of arrival.