The Salvation Army says it has plenty of room for those fighting their addiction
Ask most drug addicts and they'll tell you they would like to get clean. Thursday night, KTVA held a town hall to continue the conversation about opioid addiction-- a crisis that has devastated many Alaska families.
One of the big questions asked was about the lack of treatment beds in town. The Salvation Army's Rehabilitation Center in Midtown is a group that says it's often overlooked when it comes to available treatment centers. They have a few beds that are available immediately. Beds that have been empty for a while now.
For many people hooked on drugs, getting help isn't easy. During the town hall, panelist Amy Urbach talked about the time she once thought of committing suicide as she fought her addiction.
"I didn't believe I was gonna get into treatment, and that was my only solution at that moment," said Urbach.
A shortage of treatment options is one reason addicts in Alaska can feel hopeless. The Salvation Army's Lieutenant Richard Mabie says it shouldn't be.
"We're here, and we're open, and we want the community to know if they need help we're here for them."
As of late Friday, the organization has 14 available beds for men who want help overcoming their addictions. In total, the adult rehabilitation center has 62 beds for six months use at a time.
"They have to pass a drug test to come in, and once they pass that drug test, they don't need clothes, they don't need anything. Everything is provided for them," said Mabie.
He goes on to say, although staying at the center is free, the men must be committed to getting clean.
"They got to be willing to do work because it is a work therapy program. The spiritual part and program. They get counseling."
Mabie says The Salvation Army's drug rehab programs has a high success rate.
Junior Latocha credits the program for his six years of sobriety.
"It was the only shot I got," said Latocha. "So, basically, it was my only chance to get out of jail and change my life and turn it back around."
A second chance for a sober life.
The Salvation Army is able to keep their programs free through the sales of donated items at their thrift stores.
Correction: After our story aired Robert DeBerry, communications manager for The Salvation Army Alaska Division emailed KTVA this statement:
"The Salvation Army does have a facility for women. That facility is the Clitheroe Center. Clitheroe’s Residential Program includes a dual diagnosis treatment program for individuals with mental health issues, as well as substance abuse issues. The 42-bed campus near Point Woronzof is a safe, therapeutic environment for those seeking recovery. In 2016 Clitheroe served 294 clients; 17% had opioid dependence as a primary diagnosis and 30% had opioid dependence as a secondary diagnosis."
DeBerry also made clear, "The Salvation Army and many of the services we provide receive funding from a variety of sources. Sources such as individual donations, corporate donations and fundraising events. In the case of Clitheroe Center, the services offered do have fees, but services are provided even if you do not have the ability to pay. Our fees are also based on a sliding fee scale."