Samaritan to move forward with substance abuse treatment center

Samaritan Health Services presented an update on Lebanon’s Samaritan Treatment and Recovery Services (STARS) residential center for substance abuse on April 4.

About $3 million of the $4 million needed has thus far been raised, so SHS is moving forward with the construction of the facility, which is expected to begin this year, said Doug Boysen, president and CEO of SHS.

Rick Hindmarsh, medical director at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital Treatment and Recovery, and Kelley Story, director of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, are developing the programs for the facility.

They are currently involved in the STARS outpatient service, which offers support and therapy groups, as well as medication-assisted recovery services.

Statistics show that outpatient care has a 61 percent success rate if clients can get to all the meetings in the first week, said Marty Cahill, vice president and CEO of SLCH. In residential care, they need to get through the first four days.

“That’s where they’re scared, they’re nervous, they’re going through all the symptoms of withdrawal,” he said.

The residential program will be a structured environment for adults 18 and older, with personal wellness duties and various meetings to attend, Story said. Residents will stay for as long as necessary to get the care they need. For some that’s six weeks or longer, for others it’s 30 days.

“We know that any time you get somebody clean over about 30 days, the more we add days, the more we stabilize their treatment, the more likely they are to stay clean,” she said.

“Medication helps, and it helps for a little while, but if we didn’t change peoples’ thinking, behaviors and lifestyles, we aren’t going to be successful.”

Since SLCH is less than a mile away from the facility, it can be utilized for the medical side of treatment, which keeps costs lower for maintaining the operation of the STARS facility.

“I love residential treatment,” Story said. “Residential treatment is easier to get clean in, and you see people really change dramatically. In terms of outpatient services, people have a harder time staying clean, but once they get clean they stay clean. So I like both levels of care for different reasons.”

The important thing at this juncture of the process is to find continued financial support for operational costs of the program, and for the community to know that Samaritan is on its way to providing a way out for those struggling with addiction, Cahill said.

“Within our communities right now, this resource doesn’t exist,” he said. “We really are trying to meet the needs of the community with a needed resource.”

Read more about the program at https://www.lebanonlocalnews.com/capital-campaign-kicks-off-for-samaritan-rehab-building/